© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Booker had nine points, two rebounds and two assists in the U.S. national team's 86-72 victory over the Canadian national team in their first exhibition game tonight in Las Vegas.

Thanks for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Booker was named to the starting lineup alongside Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, LeBron James and Joel Embiid. Suns teammate Kevin Durant was out tonight with a slight calf strain.

As he showed at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Booker looked like a completely different player in FIBA ​​play, willing to do all the dirty work on both sides of the ball. He played a total of 20 minutes and sank 4 of 6 shots (1 of 2 three-pointers).

Booker grabbed an early offensive rebound in the first few minutes of the game, but the U.S. struggled early with eight turnovers in the first quarter. Booker scored his first points midway through the second quarter on two consecutive possessions.

He scored his first basket with a pull-up jumper, which he sank and gave the USA their first lead of 25-23 with 6:38 minutes left in the second quarter.

Then a block by LeBron James led to his next goal, a three-pointer from the wing after an assist from Joel Embiid.

By halftime, Booker had scored those five points on 2-of-3 shooting and one offensive rebound. He was the only starter to play double-digit minutes, as coach Steve Kerr inserted him late in the half with the second unit, which had played much better than the starters.

Booker's first points of the second half came midway through the third quarter with a contested mid-range jump shot that stopped an 8-0 Canadian run. On the next possession, Booker found Joel Embiid for a jump shot.

His ninth point was a putback layup after a missed shot by LeBron James in transition.

Booker didn't score any more points for the rest of the game, as he played five minutes in the fourth quarter. Instead, he made this nice defensive stop:

The US team will now travel to Abu Dhabi to play its next two friendlies, the first of which will be against Australia on July 15. The US will begin its Olympic campaign on July 28 against Serbia.

Team USA defeats Canada 86-72 in first Olympic friendly

*Get the BEST insider information on Phoenix sports, exclusive content and access to our season magazines! REGISTER HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Brendan Mau is a senior editor for Burn City Sports and covers the Phoenix Suns, among others. Follow him on X over @Brendan_Mau

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *