A’ja Wilson (20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks) and Breanna Stewart (15 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two blocks) showed why they are two of the best players in the world and the United States on a 10-0 run leaves things a little more comfortable in a 86-69 wins host Japan Friday in Saitama.
The victory improved Team USA’s record at the 2020 Olympics to 2-0, while Japan dropped to 1-1. The USA achieved a nine-point victory 17th ranking team in the world in Nigeria, while Japan, no. 10, a four-point victory over France, no. 5, achieved.
Stewart scored four points on the 10-0 run, while Diana Taurasi (11 points, three assistants) hit a try and Sue Bird scored her first points of this Olympics on a try that came from the front of the edge started off and in.
Brittney Griner rounded out the U.S. starting lineup with 15 points and five boards, while Jewell Loyd was impressive off the bench, scoring 12 points after a lineup, two mid-range and two tries. She was 2-of-3 from deep while Stewart and Taurasi were both 3-of-5.
Bird had six assists to compare Stewart to the team, but Japanese Rui Machida beat the game high by 11 to stand with nine points. Maki Takada had a team high of 15 points, while Saki Hayashi (four steals) had 12, Monica Okoye 11 and Yuki Miyazawa (six rebounds) nine.
Japan scored an almighty 38 tries in the match, making ten of them. The strategy worked early as it led 30-28 to one. The U.S. won the battle on the defensive glass 42-25 and won despite trying just five free throws.
In addition to the 6-out-9 series on tries in the first quarter, Japan did a good job of managing basketball, as the U.S. major parties sometimes had trouble staying ahead of its fast-paced guards. But Team USA used a second quarter of 21-10 at halftime to lead by nine, and Wilson and Griner were too much for Japan to handle inside.