FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA downs Canada in final exhibition game

The United States men’s basketball team ended its exhibition series on a high note.

The Americans defeated Canada, 84-68, on Monday in their final exhibition game before the FIBA World Cup starts in China.

Jaylen Brown led the U.S. with 19 points, while Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker followed with 12 each. Miles Turner had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds in the game.

The victory was needed for the Americans, who lost to Australia over the weekend. It marked the first time in nearly 13 years the United States had lost a game and ended their 78-game win streak.

“We’ve got a lot of room for growth and it’s going to be good when it comes all together, but we have to keep working,” Brown said in a post-game interview posted to Twitter (via USA Basketball). “The sky’s the limit, we just have to be able to lock in and believe in each other.”

The United States never trailed, holding Canada scoreless for the first 2:52 of the game and dominated until halftime, where the score was 46-31. The only time Canada had an offensive lead was in the fourth quarter, when the team outscored the Americans, 21-20.

Canada’s Kyle Wiltjer led all scorers with 21 points, while Khem Birch — who plays for the Magic — had 13 points and six rebounds.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve enjoyed our time here,” Wiltjer said (via The Associated Press). “Let’s not forget these are practice games.”

There is less than a week before the World Cup officially starts in China, with the Americans slated to face the Czech Republic at 8:30 a.m. ET Sunday in Shanghai. Canada opens play Sunday against Australia in Dongguan.

Team USA continues play against Turkey on Sept. 3, then Japan on Sept. 5.