Bilbao, Spain • They were expected to be in Barcelona. They hope to finish their trip in Madrid.
First, they had to take care of Bilbao.
World Cup scores
Iran 88, Egypt 73
Brazil 81, Serbia 73
Spain 88, France 64
» Puerto Rico 77, Philippines 73
» Argentina 81, Senegal 46,
Greece 76, Croatia 65
» New Zealand 73, Ukraine 61
Turkey 77, Finland 73
» United States 106, Dominican Republic 71
Australia 70, Mexico 62
Slovenia 93, Angola 87
Lithuania 79, Korea 49
The Americans wrapped up the No. 1 seed in their group Wednesday, improving to 4-0 at the Basketball World Cup with a 106-71 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Kenneth Faried, whose shooting percentage dropped after he missed three shots, scored 16 points for the U.S. DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench and added 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
The Americans will finish Group C play in Bilbao on Thursday against Ukraine — when U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski will coach against longtime friend and former NBA coach Mike Fratello — before playing their round-of-16 game Saturday night in Barcelona against the fourth-place team from Group D, which is still to be determined.
A few wins there and they would play for gold in Madrid, but nobody was looking past step one.
The Americans surpassed 100 points for the second time in the tournament — and they were "held" to 98 points in their other two games. Even after having to overcome a halftime deficit in one game, they came in averaging a tournament-best 103.3 points and were winning by 35.7 per game.
All 12 players scored, and the ones who weren’t in the game were up cheering when back-of-the-bench centers Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond hooked up on an alley-oop in the final minutes.
The Americans led by only three points after one quarter but had no trouble extending that as the game went on, as the Dominicans’ willingness to push the pace simply played into the Americans’ hands.
Faried made 8 of 11 shots, a 73-percent clip that actually lowered his percentage for the tournament to 78.4 percent after the Denver forward came into the game hitting 81 percent.
Victor Liz scored 15 points for the Dominican Republic (2-2), which will face Turkey on Thursday, still in position to advance.
The Dominicans played without Houston Rockets forward Francisco Garcia, who entered the day’s play tied for fourth in the tournament with 21 points per game. He appeared to turn an ankle late in the Dominicans’ victory over Finland on Tuesday, and though he finished the game, was walking gingerly Wednesday as he went to the bench after his teammates had come out to warm up.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.