Isaiah Thomas, Team USA Cruise Past Mexico in FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 21, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas (4) dribbles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Washington. The Warriors won 125-117. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Team USA had no trouble finishing off a perfect 5-0 run through 2022 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying on Saturday, defeating Mexico 96-75 in their group play finale. 

The win assures the Americans will finish atop Group D—where no other team earned more than two wins. 

Isaiah Thomas continued to work back into his normal rhythm as he posted nine points and three assists on 3-of-8 shooting from the field. Most importantly, Thomas appeared to have a much better handle on the ball Saturday, committing just one turnover a day after he gave up six in a victory over the Bahamas. 

As he attempts to make an NBA comeback, Thomas did flash a bit of the brilliance that made him a star in the league.

USA Basketball @usabasketball

Cookin' 👀 @isaiahthomas ➡️ @bestbetbass #AmeriCup https://t.co/zBeFxsAXfv

USA Basketball @usabasketball

IT came to play 😤💪 9 pts., 2 ast. for @isaiahthomas after the opening quarter. #AmeriCup https://t.co/47zMFNpcqS

He'll just have to hope that catches the attention of scouts until the next time he steps on the court. 

Joe Johnson, meanwhile, had basketball fans experiencing flashbacks to his NBA days as the former Brooklyn Nets star poured in 11 points with nine rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. Ra'Shad James led USA in scoring with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. 

USA Basketball @usabasketball

In Rhythm Ra'Shad! Ra'Shad James is 4-4 for a game-high 13 pts. at the half. #AmeriCup https://t.co/AGnFbxccPX

Edgar Garibay led Mexico with 19 points and nine rebounds. 

The Americans jumped out to a 31-15 lead after the first quarter, wiping any fears of another letdown after USA looked sluggish early on against the Bahamas on Friday. After outscoring Mexico 27-18 in the second quarter, there was little reason to show any concern at all. 

The top three teams in each group advance to the AmeriCup, meaning Mexico and Puerto Rico will move on with the United States from Group D. 


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