UTAH JAZZ

Kessler Sits As Team USA Survives Germany

Aug 20, 2023, 12:25 PM

Walker Kessler #14 of the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team drives against Naz Reid #35...

Walker Kessler #14 of the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team drives against Naz Reid #35 (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Walker Kessler didn’t see the floor as Team USA survived Germany in their final FIBA World Cup warmup.

Trailing by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, Team USA stormed back late in the period before overtaking the talented German squad in the final minutes of the game.

A late 18-0 run from the Americans finally put the game out of reach, fueled by stellar play from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards.

The former top overall pick scored 34 points on 11-21 shooting, and added six rebounds in the win.

Though coach Steve Kerr opted not to play Kessler against Germany, Team USA’s lack of size without the Jazz center was readily apparent.

Germany built their big third quarter behind Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder’s ability to attack the paint, and Indiana Pacers center Daniel Theis’s strength on the offensive glass.

Team USA was outrebounded 55-42 in the game, including 15-8 on the offensive end.

Kessler failed to see the floor in two of Team USA’s five exhibition games.

Walker Kessler, Team USA Prepare For Group Play

After knocking off Germany, Team USA and Kessler will now turn their attention to the FIBA World Cup group stage in Manila.

August 26: vs. New Zealand – 6:40 AM MST

August 28: vs. Greece – 6:40 AM MST

August 30: vs. Jordan – 2:4o AM MST

The quarterfinals will begin on September 5 and will conclude with the gold medal game on September 10.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Kessler Sits As Team USA Survives Germany