After dropping their first two of its exhibition game, Team USA left their best performance for the last, capping off their exhibition schedule in Las Vegas with an 83-76 win over the reigning World Champions, Spain.

The men's national basketball team finished the exhibition games prior Tokyo Olympics with a record of 2-2. Team USA trailed Spain late into the third quarter on Sunday night in Vegas.

Despite a non-bearing face-off, another loss for Team USA in the run-up to the Olympics would be very concerning. In the opening minutes, it looked as if Gregg Popovich and Team USA were going to head into Tokyo on a tough note.

However, according to Yahoo Sports, a big defensive stand in the third period catapulted Team USA to an 83-76 against Spain. Team USA trailed in most minutes of the games, but the American squad managed to orchestrate a second-half run to secure the final exhibition game before the Olympic games, which would start on Friday.

Team USA Leaves Vegas With a W

Despite putting up only 14 points in the first period and trailing by two points at halftime, Team USA found their game midway through the third period.
The American squad regained the lead courtesy of a big Damian Lillard 3-pointer. The long bomb from Lillard sparked Team USA and they closed out the period on a 12-5 run. Team USA held Spain to only 12 points in the quarter and claimed a seven-point lead heading to the fourth. They punished Spain and allowed them to only hit one field goal in almost six minutes in the third quarter.
The momentum swing was capitalized by the Team USA as they extended their intensity through the fourth quarter where they secured a seven-point win for its second straight victory.

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Keldon Johnson Shines

Lillard led Team USA with 19 points and six assists, while Kevin Durant scored 14 points and Zach LaVine finished with 13. However, the recently added member of the Team USA stole the show and sparked the American squad to a victory. Keldon Johnson dropped 15 points off the bench and 10 of which came in the third quarter. Johnson went with a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in the third period for his first game with the team.

In 17 minutes of action against Spain, the 21-year-old San Antonio Spurs youngster elevated his game and matched his scoring production with three rebounds, two steals, and one block

Johnson joined the team USA after Washington Wizards' star Bradley Beal was placed in the COVID-19 health and safety protocol. Kevin Love was also replaced by JaVale McGee from the team after a calf injury.

On the other hand, Ricky Rubio led Spain with 23 points and three rebounds, and Marc Gasol put up 10 points of his own. However, the two Spanish NBA players were the only ones to score in double figures for Spain. Also, the team had 20 total turnovers compared to only eight from Team USA, which allowed the Americans to orchestrate a comeback.

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Written by Jess Smith

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