The American men's basketball team overcame a setback to thrash Italy in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup.
Two days after losing to Lithuania in the group-play championship game, the United States triumphed 100-63 despite already having secured a place in the knockout stages.
Since the third-place match in 1998, the United States hasn't given up as few points in a World Cup game this late.
The Brooklyn Nets' Mikal Bridges scored a game-high 24 points. FIBA WORLD CUP: Results and Schedule
On Sunday, Lithuania jumped out to a quick 31-12 lead over the United States by the end of the first period. Without any points from Anthony Edwards, their top scorer in the tournament, the Americans on Tuesday led 46-22 at the half.
For this squad, it has been a five-week journey, and there are still five days left, according to U.S. coach Steve Kerr. "We're the horse that's heading back toward the barn.
When the horse realizes it is getting close to the barn, it accelerates. That is what is taking place right now. Our soldiers can sense that the voyage is coming to an end.
The United States will play Germany in Friday's semifinals after Germany defeated Latvia 81-79 on Wednesday to go to the last four for the second time in history (2002). Dennis Schröder, Daniel Theis, and brothers Franz and Moritz Wagner are all NBA players from Germany.
From 2008 to 2016, the United States had an unblemished record and won every Olympic and world championship.
Since then, it has dropped at least one match in three straight competitions: the 2019 World Cup (where it finished seventh, a program-worst), the Tokyo Olympics (where it lost in group play en route to its fourth consecutive gold medal), and this World Cup.
The Steve Kerr-coached U.S. lineup for this World Cup features no athletes with previous Olympic or World Cup experience, as well as no NBA All-Stars.
Serbia defeated Lithuania on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals. Serbia will next face the winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal between Canada and Slovenia sans Nikola Jokic.