U.S. beats Puerto Rico in hoops exhibition
New York • Mike Krzyzewski is ready to decide who is going with him to Spain.
The U.S. national team coach said the Americans expect to trim their roster to 12 on Saturday before leaving for Europe, after team officials had previously said they might carry extra players.
Final rosters for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball aren’t due until next Friday, but the Americans won’t need that much time.
"We feel that it’s better to go with 12 because that’s really difficult on anybody if they’re not going to be on the team to travel that far," Krzyzewski said after the U.S. beat Puerto Rico 112-86 on Friday night in their final home exhibition game.
Derrick Rose came off the bench and scored six points in 14 minutes. He apparently will make the team if he and team officials feel his health allows it.
"These guys want to play with him. That’s part of getting back is to be around a group of peers," Krzyzewski said.
Stephen Curry scored 20 points and Krzyzewski announced the Golden State guard was on the team as they appeared together in the postgame press conference. But the All-Star was never in danger of getting cut. However, all-Stars Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward and DeMar DeRozan are, as the four players on the 16-man roster who didn’t play Friday. But Krzyzewski insisted his mind wasn’t made up and that he still had to speak with USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo before Saturday’s announcement.
"It’s a collective decision and Jerry puts the final stamp on it. We haven’t had a chance to discuss the new input from tonight but I thought we got some really good performances," Krzyzewski said, mentioning forwards Kenneth Faried and Rudy Gay.
James Harden and Gay had 13 points apiece for the Americans, who will play a final exhibition game in Spain against Slovenia and open the World Cup next Saturday against Finland.
The U.S. led 52-47 after Klay Thompson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of an entertaining first half before a divided crowd that included plenty of Puerto Rican fans. Knicks All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony, who is part Puerto Rican, was in the front row along with golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Andy Murray.
Love trade set for completion
The blockbuster trade that will send Kevin Love to team up with LeBron James in Cleveland will be completed on Saturday, making the Cavaliers an instant favorite in the Eastern Conference and turning Andrew Wiggins into something of an anomaly.
When Wiggins is moved from the Cavs to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the deal, he will become just the second No. 1 overall draft pick to be traded without playing a game for the team that drafted him since the ABA and NBA merged in 1976.
The only other time it happened was in 1993 when the Orlando Magic traded Chris Webber to the Golden State Warriors for a package headlined by Penny Hardaway.
The Cavaliers will also get Anthony Bennett, the 2013 No. 1 pick, from Cleveland and veteran forward Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia in the three-team deal.