Edwards and Team USA wrapped up the first round with a 110-62 victory against Jordan on Wednesday morning, with the Wolves’ phenom leading the star-studded roster in scoring with 22 points. The Americans advance to the second round having gone undefeated in their three first-round games.
Kyle Anderson — also known as Li Kai’er — led China with 31 minutes played, an honorable performance considering China had already been eliminated from title contention after their loss to South Sudan on Monday.
Anthony Edwards (USA)
The Red, White and Blue got off to a blazing start in this game and simply never looked back. Jordan had lost its first two games, and despite a 20-point performance from former Wolf Rondae Hollis Jefferson, couldn’t keep up with the Americans on Wednesday.
The game started with a 15-2 run — after Jordan did not score for more than two minutes — which included this highlight reel play from Edwards:
The 2020 No. 1 overall pick scored 13 consecutive points for Team USA in the first quarter, attacking the rim and shooting well from deep.
After allowing just 13 points in the opening frame, the Americans struggled out of the gate in quarter two with Jordan cutting the lead to 12.
However, from there on out it was all USA. They led by 29 points at halftime, and ultimately kept their foot to the gas and finished the game with 48 more points than Jordan.
Edwards’ windmill dunk halfway through the third quarter was not exactly the nail-in-the-coffin, as the game was already out of hand, but the 6-0 spurt from the Americans led to Jordan taking a timeout after the lead ballooned to 36.
Edwards was named TCL Player of the Game, as he finished with 22 points on 8/16 shooting (3-for-5 from deep, 3-3 from the free throw line) and added eight rebounds and four assists.
The Atlanta native continues to solidify himself among the NBA’s best, standing out among some of the league’s top talent on this national team. Raving reviews from his head coach Steve Kerr and others, Edwards has primed himself for an increased spotlight not only for the rest of this tournament but the upcoming NBA season.
Next up, Team USA will take on Montenegro and Lithuania on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Also in USA’s second-round group is Greece, who the Americans beat on Monday by a score of 109-81.
Kyle Anderson (China)
Anderson, playing in a game that had few implications for China, finished with nine points, three rebounds, one assist and one block in the team’s final first-round game.
The 29-year-old has had an up-and-down tournament, as his statline from China’s first game was enough to make one shudder. Anderson was held scoreless in that outing, going 0-for-9 from the field in 26 minutes of action.
He bounced back well in their second game, though, scoring 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting, pulling down five boards and dishing out three assists.
Anderson’s performance on Wednesday fell somewhere in between game one and game two, as he flashed his do-it-all ability with a well-rounded outing.
Anderson, unlike Timberwolf teammate Rudy Gobert of France, seems like he will suit up for his team’s following games, which will begin Thursday morning at 3:00 a.m. CT against Angola.
China will take on the Philippines on Saturday at 7:00 a.m. CT, setting up a clash between Anderson and fellow NBA player Jordan Clarkson. The Utah Jazz guard and his team will undoubtedly have the home-court advantage, as the Manila venue will feature fans cheering on their home country.
China’s Kyle Anderson (Li Kaier) of the Minnessota Timberwolves look forward to playing home team Gilas Pilipinas and fellow NBAer Jordan Clarkson:@PhilippineStar @StarSportsHub @PhilstarNews pic.twitter.com/u5G3EtdBHS— John Bryan Ulanday (@bryanulanday) August 30, 2023
Like Gobert, and really for all Timberwolves playing the World Cup, Anderson’s health will be the main priority for Wolves fans as they watch their team’s stars compete throughout the reminder of the tournament.
With the first round now complete, the Timberwolves will have three representatives in the second round of the World Cup: Edwards with Team USA, Karl-Anthony Towns with the Dominican Republic, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker with Canada.
The classification round will begin Thursday morning, as Gobert and France will take on Iran at 8:30 a.m. CT and Anderson and China will face off with Angola at 3:00 a.m. CT. All games can be streamed on Courtside1891.
Our contributor Charlie Walton created a schedule of times and dates of games in which Timberwolves players will compete in this upcoming weekend: