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April 12, 2008
DeRozan leads balanced USA team to Summit win
Jrue Holiday scored seven of his 13 points in the first four minutes of the third quarter to spark the USA to an 11-0 run and a comfortable, 98-78 victory over the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.
The USA's 20-point margin of victory tied the game's record for victory margin and is the USA's seventh straight victory in the event.
In a balanced scoring attack that saw six of the 10 U.S. players score in double digits, forward DeMar DeRozan, who is headed to Southern California next fall, finished with a game-high 17 points, while forward Drew Gordon – one of four USA players who will play at UCLA next fall – scored15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
"In the second half, we really picked up the pressure out front," USA head coach Douglas Mitchell said. " Malcolm (Lee), Tyreke (Evans), Jrue (Holiday) and Jerime (Anderson) all did a great job putting pressure out front and making it tough for them to set up their offense and I thought that was the difference in the game – forcing them into bad shots or turnovers that resulted in points for us."
Following the 11-0 third quarter run that pushed the USA advantage to 54-42, World guard Torgrim Sommerfeldt drained a 3-pointer to make the score 56-47 with 5:13 to play, but that was as close as the World Team would get.
"I gotta thank the guards. Our big men weren't quite as big as the other team. We battled hard in the post but the guards definitely stepped it up on offense and on defense to stop their pressure and set up our offense," Gordon said.
Although the World Team featured a significant size advantage with five players measuring 6 feet 10 or taller, including 7-foot-4 Boban Marjanovic and 7-1 Alexis Ajinca ; the USA won the battle of the boards, collecting 44 rebounds to the World's 42. Twenty-three of the USA's rebounds came on the offensive end.
"The World Team was big so it was hard for us to go to the hole and we had to adjust. We had to adjust and get a couple of steals and just run them," DeRozan said.
The Americans also relied on their guards to disrupt the World Team, which helped lead to 25 World turnovers and 18 USA steals. The U.S. committed just 15 turnovers.
All 10 USA Team members scored, and in addition to DeRozan and Gordon, Scotty Hopson added 15 points, Evans 11 – and team-high eight rebounds – and Wake Forest-bound Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 10 points and five rebounds.