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Team USA downs Czech Republic in World Cup Opener, 88-67

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Derrick White provides a spark in a convincing victory for the United States

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Czech Republic v USA Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Team USA blew out the Czech Republic 88-67 in their 2019 FIBA World Cup opener in Beijing, China.

The United States showed vulnerability during their pre-World Cup exhibition tour, but looked calm, composed and collected in their resounding victory over the Czechs.

Although the Americans started slow, they gained some momentum once Derrick White checked into the contest. The U.S. National Team went on a 19-5 run in the six minutes he spent on the floor and built a comfortable 43-29 lead heading into halftime.

White ended the evening with 6 points, 3 assists, and a game-high two steals. The San Antonio Spurs third-year playmaker logged the fewest minutes of any guard on the U.S. roster but made a solid case for earning more court time.

Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker, and Harrison Barnes led the charge in the second half and combined for 43 total points in the game. While their scoring helped Team USA jump out in front, it was stingy team defense that maintained their advantage.

The United States held the Czech Republic to 67 points on 41% shooting and turned 15 turnovers into 22 points. Team USA was most dangerous when they could get out in transition, and converting defense into offense only made executing their downhill attack easier.

Next up for Team USA is a matchup with Turkey as they continue the group phase of the 2019 World Cup. Coming in at No. 17 in the world, Turkey is the highest-ranked opponent in their pool.

That game will be broadcast Tuesday at 7:30 AM (CT) on ESPN+.