Tunisia slowed down the dazzling U.S. men’s basketball team in the first half before the Olympic champions found supersonic mode to record a 110-63 win on Tuesday that ended the second batch of games in Group A.
The Africans led 15-12 with less than three minutes to go in the first quarter when American coach Mike Krzyzewski sent a fresh crew of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and Andre Iguodala on to the court.
The new lineup then reeled off the last nine points of the quarter to turn the deficit into a 21-15 advantage.
“A lot of times when you’re watching games you pick up on things,” Williams told reporters. “Our game plan was to switch and deny but we weren’t really denying them the ball.
“Then we wanted to get out in transition and run. We just tried to pick up the tempo and momentum of the game.”
Tunisia, led by power forward Makram Ben Romdhane, stubbornly kept close, pulling within 35-30 in the second quarter before the Americans put on another burst to lead 46-33 at the intermission.