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Despite Shocking Defeat Against Lithuania, Anthony Edwards Breaks 13-Year-Old FIBA World Cup Deadlock for Team USA

Published 09/03/2023, 2:34 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The FIBA World Cup has proved something; anyone can beat anyone. Some favorites are getting silenced and some low-ranked teams are making a ton of noise. Therefore, it is difficult to predict what is going to develop during a typical game. To bring the point home, the recent loss of the USA says it all. They came in as heavy favorites against Lithuania, but they couldn’t get going from the starting buzzer.

But that wasn’t true for Anthony Edwards, who was red hot throughout the game. He also earned a huge milestone because of that.

USA loses, but Anthony Edwards keeps balling

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The USA collected just 12 points in the first quarter while allowing 31 points. Their first unit once again got pulverized and, even though they tried to recover in the subsequent quarters, the uphill climb proved too much. Even after a change in the starters, the fortunes didn’t turn around. Lithuania massively out-hustled USA 43-27  on the boards and their lack of a rebounding big man finally caught up to them against a physical squad.

In terms of scoring, the team did shoot 53.4%, including 63.6% from inside the line. The production was mostly during a pursuit of the opposition rather than a tone-setter. And Anthony Edwards contributed to about one-third of their scoring. Out of the 104 points, he had 35 points.

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He made 14 of his 26 attempts from the field, including five threes on 13 tries. To put this in context, the second-highest scorer in the game, Lithuania’s Vaidas Kariniauskas had 15 points. Therefore, he dominated the scoring board thoroughly.

ESPN’s Research Producer Matt Williams revealed he was the first USA player to score 30+ since Kevin Durant in 2010. Incidentally, Durantala dropped 38 against Lithuania and 33 against Russia in the 2010 edition of the World Cup.

The USA wishes they had KD to rescue their first unit here. However, the Timberwolves fans and management is salivating over these performances.

Anthony Edwards can have a torrential 2023-24 season

Edwards is averaging around 20 points, and no USA player is even close to that. This is not a surprising number for NBA fans. During the last playoffs, he was unstoppable. Despite his team losing in five games against the Nuggets, he put up an impressive 31.6 points a game, including a 41-point outburst which set the Franchise record in the Playoffs. The Forward has lacked help this year and has been carrying teams on his own many times.

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Anthony Edwards May Lose His Chance To Face Juancho Hernangomez’s Spain, As 29-Rank Latvia Stuns the World Champions

His scoring has been bloated because he has added fadeaway jumpers, step backs, and has become a terrific high-post shooter. The ability to finish, play post, and create off-the-dribble makes him an automatic scorer. He has drawn comparisons with Michael Jordan because of that.

Will he average around 30 points a game during the next Regular Season?

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Watch This Story: Shaquille O’Neal Subtly Warns Austin Reaves and Anthony Edwards of a Storm Coming, as NBA All Star-Led Rivals Smoke Latvia to Overshadow Team USA

 

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Written by:

Shubham Singh

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Shubham is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He became a fan of the NBA in late 2000s and his interest skyrocketed after Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks upset the Miami Heat in Six Games during 2011 NBA Finals. He loves looking into playing styles of different players and teams while also trying to analyse what circumstances shape a typical NBA game.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja