Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Team USA (1-0) started the World Cup Qualifiers with a close win against Cuba (0-1) in the match played in Mexico. The USA team, currently coached by Jim Boylen, won 95-90 (27-37, 33-16, 13-24, 22-13) behind a great performance from Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas scored a key three-pointer with just 17 seconds left on the clock, which gave the USA a 5-point lead (93-88). Cuba entered the final quarter with a four-point lead and continued to give the USA a hard time for the entire last 10 minutes. 

In the third period, Cuba imposed their rhythm and with a 13-2 run, tied the game (66-66) after being down by 9 points. 

In the first half, Team USA started the game slow, letting Cuba score 37 points in the first quarter. The Americans bounced back in the second quarter, recovering their 10-point deficit and imposing their rhythm offensively, scoring 33 points in the second quarter, led by Justin Anderson.

Isaiah Thomas was the top scorer for Team USA with 21 points (3/9 2PT, 4/11 3PT, 3/5 FT), 3 assists, 1 rebound, 4 turnovers, 1 steal, and 7 EFF.

Jasiel Rivero had 34 points (10/13 2PT, 3/5 3PT, 5/8 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, and 36 EFF

Team USA: Isaiah Thomas 21, BJ Johnson 16, Brian Bowen II 16 (9 REB), Justin Anderson 10 (5 REB)

Cuba: Jasiel Rivero 34 (9 REB), Karel Guzman 18 (6 AST), Yoanki Mensia 12 (6 REB)

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