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Mikal Bridges And Tyrese Haliburton Led Team USA To A Dominant Quarterfinals Win Over Italy

Two days after losing to Lithuania in the final game of the second group stage, USA Basketball bounced back in a big way in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, as they blasted Italy, 100-63, to advance to the semifinals.

After a rough game against Lithuania, the bench unit returned to its excellent form, as Austin Reaves had two of the early highlights with a stepback three and a big putback dunk as Team USA darted out to a big early advantage.

Joining Reaves in having a big game off the bench was Tyrese Haliburton, who knocked down six of his eight attempts from three on his way to 18 points, as well as dishing out five assists to lead the team.

However, the star of the game was Mikal Bridges, as he exploded for 24 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes of play, scoring 14 in the first half and adding 10 in the third quarter before heading to the bench.

The Americans length and athleticism was just overwhelming for Italy, which simply couldn’t do much on either end of the floor, and seemingly every time Team USA got a big defensive play, they turned it into quick offense on the other end — with Paolo Banchero delivering two big highlights to twist the knife against an Italian squad he turned down.

It was the dominant performance expected of USA Basketball, and they clearly enjoyed going up against a team without a dominant paint presence. Their ability to beat smaller teams hasn’t been in question this tournament, but it’s still good to see them take care of business and look much more engaged from the jump, not allowing even a sliver of hope for Italy to pull off the upset. Now the Americans will await the winner of Germany-Latvia in the semifinals, with Serbia blasting Lithuania in the other quarterfinal on Tuesday and they will play the winner of Slovenia-Canada.