After a slow start Thursday, the USA came back to defeat Ukraine, 95-71, at Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain, closing out the 2014 FIBA World Cup preliminary round with a perfect 5-0 record.
Having already clinched the top spot in Group C, the USA now travels to Barcelona, where they will play in the Round of 16 against Mexico on Saturday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.
Playing in its fifth game in six days, head coach Mike Krzyzewski put out the same starting lineup he’s had all week: Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Kenneth Faried, James Harden and Anthony Davis.
Ukraine, led by former NBA head coach Mike Fratello, looked to slow the pace in this game, and it worked for at least the first quarter. The USA trailed by five at the end of the first, but outscored Ukraine 30-13 in the second quarter to turn things around and take a 44-32 lead.
Six players, including all five starters, scored in double figures for the USA. Harden led all scorers with 17 points.
Ukraine finished 2-3 in the preliminary round, hoping to squeeze into the Round of 16 based on tie-breakers.
This was the first-ever meeting against Ukraine in a senior level FIBA competition.
With the victory, the USA extended its winning streak to 59 games, dating back to the 2006 World Championship bronze medal game.