17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
4 Isaiah Thomas (USA), 8 Joe Marcus Johnson (USA)
Game Report
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Undefeated Team USA continues their dominance in win over Bahamas in FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers

SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) -  While the United States has already booked their spot in the 2022 AmeriCup, the club was able to pull out a 93-77 victory over the Bahamas in their first game of the final window of qualifiers.

Former NBA All-Stars Isaiah Thomas (19 points) and Joe Johnson (11 points) led the way for the USA, while three other players, including ex-Purdue knockdown shooter Dakota Mathias (15 points), ex-NBA veteran Brandon Bass (12 points) and James Nunnally (19 points), scored in double figures.

Even though the final score indicates a blowout, this was anything but easy for the 5-0 roster. The Bahamas put up a strong fight – especially in the first half – and showed flashes of their future potential with Travis Munnings (22 points) and 20-year-old Domnick Bridgewater (14 points) making a clear impact on the game.

That just wasn’t enough for the Bahamas and their defense, though. The United States had periods of stagnant offensive play and looked at devoid of chemistry, but the club still shot 49.3% from the field overall and hit an impressive 15 3-pointers.

With an entire new roster from the first two windows and big names stepping on the court, it’s no surprise that the USA didn’t play at their highest level possible right away. Thomas, in particular, surprisingly turned the ball over six times and seemed to have major rust other than an early-game spark.

But with plenty of options and effective defense to limit the Bahamas’ perimeter looks in the second half, the United States was able to pull away for yet another victory.

While the United States took a 14-point lead at halftime, the opening two quarters were rather close. After Thomas hit three straight treys to open the game, the Bahamas started to flex their shooting, isolation skills on offense and ability to make plays in transition.

The Bahamas’ energy and effort was notable, as they built their momentum behind two monster dunks and massive block from Bridgewater on Thomas that resulted in a little taunting. They actually led by one point in the middle of the second quarter before USA settled in and went on a 14-2 run to end the half.

The Bahamas (1-4) still have a chance to qualify but they must defeat a much improved Puerto Rico team on Saturday. Meanwhile, the United States remains undefeated and will wrap up their AmeriCup qualifying run with a matchup vs. Mexico on Saturday afternoon.