U.S. hits 17 3-pointers in blowout win over Italy, while Serbia takes down Lithuania

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Tyrese Haliburton (left) and Austin Reaves combined for six of the United States' 17 3-pointers. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

The United States couldn’t stop hitting 3-pointers in their 100-63 win over Italy in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals.

The Americans combined to shoot 17-for-36 from beyond the arc. Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton led the team with six 3-pointers, while Brooklyn Nets guard Mikal Bridges added four of his own. Bridges scored a game-high 24 points, Haliburton scored 18 points and Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves added 12 — including two more from beyond the arc.

Another slow start provided a bit of worry in the first quarter but it quickly gave way to a barrage of 3-point attempts while the U.S. looked to avenge its first FIBA loss from Sunday.

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson hit a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter to give the Americans a 10-8 lead, one they kept for the remainder of the game. The U.S. outscored Italy 14-6 through the rest of the first frame and then continued to steamroll its opponent in the blowout win.

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Defense in the second quarter helped the U.S. build its lead as well. Italy made just four field goals in the second and missed 11 shots from behind the arc in its attempt to erase the deficit. The decision proved futile, though, as the U.S. kept the Italians off the scoreboard long enough to build the insurmountable lead with its sharp-shooting on offense in the final two quarters as well.

The U.S. cruised onto the semifinals with the win and will face the winner of Germany versus Latvia (who play Wednesday) on Friday.

Bogdan Bogdanović couldn't be stopped in the quarterfinals against Lithuania. (Photo by SHERWIN VARDELEON / AFP) (Photo by SHERWIN VARDELEON/AFP via Getty Images)
Bogdan Bogdanović couldn’t be stopped in the quarterfinals against Lithuania. (Photo by SHERWIN VARDELEON / AFP) (Photo by SHERWIN VARDELEON/AFP via Getty Images)

Bogdan Bogdanović leads Serbia over Lithuania

Serbia rolled over Lithuania in the quarterfinals in an 87-68 win with a combination of stout defense, efficient shooting and quality contributions from the bench. Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanović once again powered his country to victory with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He’s averaged 18.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in six games this tournament.

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The Serbs were deadly when they forced Lithuania to give up the ball. They scored 21 points off 15 turnovers — nine of which were steals — and shot 63.2% from the field. Filip Petrušev, who was drafted No. 50 in the 2021 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and signed with the team in July, led the Serbian bench with 17 points, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Lithuania actually jumped out to an early 25-24 advantage in the. first quarter. But Serbia took over in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead — they outscored Lithuania by 12 in the second, by seven in the third and by one in the fourth to grab the 19-point win. Serbia will play the winner of the Canada-Slovenia match in the semifinals.

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