The New Zealanders delivered a stirring haka that demanded respect from the Americans, who gave it with some even applauding at the end in a rare sporting moment – can you imagine the Wallabies doing that to the ALl Blacks?!
Nevertheless, when things got down to business the USA were too good. Anthony Davis finished with a game-high 21 points while Kenneth Faried contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds – he was among six US players in double figures as every player in the team found the net.
The Tall Blacks stayed in it though, until the final quarter at least, with BJ Anthony bringing 11 points off the bench.
The USA were too strong on the boards with 47-34 rebounds and 21 turnovers highlighting the gap between the sides.
It’s a third loss on the trot for the Tall Blacks after a narrow results against Turkey and Dominican Republic. They face Ukraine and Finland over the next two days in group C with a slim shot of making it through to the next phase.
Australia meanwhile beat a tough Lithuania team for their second win in three group D matches, with Mexico and Angola to come.