POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 05, 2014
BILBAO, Spain » The U.S. national team finished pool play unbeaten, getting 17 points from James Harden and 14 from Stephen Curry in a 95-71 victory over Ukraine Thursday at the Basketball World Cup.
"We're looking forward to getting to Barcelona and starting the next part of the journey, the medal rounds, and taking things seriously," Curry said.
Anthony Davis finished with 12 points for the Americans (5-0), who will face Mexico on Saturday night in the round of 16. The Mexicans finished fourth in Group D.
It was closer than the usual U.S. game, but the Americans were never in any danger of losing in the second half after seizing control just before halftime against a methodical Ukraine team coached by former NBA coach Mike Fratello.
The only scare was a hard landing by starting guard Kyrie Irving with 1:12 left, but he eventually got up and walked off holding his lower back. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star was expected to be all right.
Hawaii basketball junior forward Isaac Fotu scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench to lead New Zealand past Finland, 67-65, and into the knockout round.
The Tall Blacks went 2-3 in Group C, including a loss to Team USA. They started 0-3 but won two must-have games to finish fourth in the group. The 6-foot-8 Fotu averaged 14 points and nine rebounds in the wins. He shot 7-for-9 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line against Finland.
New Zealand will face Lithuania (4-1) on Sunday in the round of 16. Lithuania won Group D.
A former Rainbow Warrior, Vander Joaquim, saw his Angola team (2-3) eliminated from competition Thursday with a 93-87 loss to Slovenia. Angola finished fifth in Group D.
Spain beat Serbia 89-73 to complete pool play 5-0.