Steve Kerr will return to the Golden State Warriors without a World Cup Gold Medal in his pocket, with Team USA left shocked after a historic defeat at the hands of Germany in their Semi-Final matchup at Manila Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines on Friday.
Germany’s 113 points was the highest score ever in a Semi-Final at the World Cup, ensuring they recorded their first ever victory over the United States. The underdogs led for the majority of the game, fighting off a late U.S surge to secure their place in Sunday’s Final.
Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr and Team USA have failed to reach the World Cup Final after a shock 113-111 defeat to Germany in their Semi-Final.
The defensive issues begun early in the game as Germany drilled a series of threes and got easy looks at the rim in a pulsating opening period. While they took a 33-31 lead, most believed the tempo would eventually suit the talented U.S squad who had also found an offensive groove.
Led by Mikal Bridges and Anthony Edwards, Team USA took the lead in the second-quarter but without ever obtaining a sizeable advantage. The teams traded blows to end the half, resulting in a one-point American lead at 60-59.
Any thought of a defensive lift from the U.S. failed to materialize, with the Germans starting the third on an 11-4 run to regain the momentum. Powered by the NBA talent of Dennis Schroder, Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis, their offense continued to thrive with a dynamic 35-24 quarter which resulted in a 10-point game with 10 minutes to play.
The U.S. hopes appeared faint as the lead remained 12 with just over five minutes to play, before they came storming back to draw within one-point with 90 seconds remaining. A pair of jumpers from Schroder and Andreas Obst sunk their chances though, leaving the Americans to rue their defensive woes in the enthralling contest.
Both teams shot 58% from the field, with Germany led by 24 points from Obst, 22 from Wagner and 21 from Theis. After an horrific Quarter-Final showing, Schroder responded by making the clutch plays in a 17-point, nine-assist display.
Edwards had 23 points and eight rebounds for the U.S, while Laker guard Austin Reaves had 21 and Bridges 17. It mattered little though as the defensive intensity from the Quarter-Final victory over Italy nothing but a fading memory.
Germany will now face Serbia on Sunday in the Gold Medal match, while Kerr will have to find a way to motivate his team in a Bronze Medal match against a talented Canadian team capable of pouring more salt into the wound.