NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving made all five shots and scored 12 points starting in place of Derrick Rose, and the U.S. national basketball team beat the Dominican Republic 105-62 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game.
James Harden also scored 12 in limited playing time for the Americans, who used their subs for most of the second half. Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan each scored 13 points.
Rose sat out, with team officials saying coach Mike Krzyzewski wanted to be able to look longer at other players with cuts coming soon. The Americans have 16 players on the roster and have to get down to 12 before the upcoming Basketball World Cup.
Fans chanted for Rose during the game, but Krzyzewski decided shortly before tip the Chicago Bulls star wouldn’t play.
Rose had sat out practices the past two days after starting in Saturday’s exhibition victory over Brazil on his home floor, saying Tuesday he just wanted extra rest as he tries to play his way back into shape after missing most of the past two seasons because of knee surgeries.
There has been no indication from Rose or the U.S. staff that he is hurting.
Houston Rockets forward Francisco Garcia scored 14 points for the Dominican Republic, coached by South Florida’s Orlando Antigua. The Dominicans are without their best player, the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford, who is recovering from a torn right pectoral muscle.
The teams will meet again in Bilbao, Spain, where they are both in Group C.
The Americans play here again Friday against Puerto Rico before leaving for Spain, where they will finish their preparations with a final exhibition against Slovenia. The World Cup opens on Aug. 30.
The Dominicans took a 6-4 lead, the Americans answered with 14 straight points to make it 18-6, and that was about it. The Americans expanded a 28-17 lead after one quarter to 53-31 at the half, as Harden and Klay Thompson each scored 10 points by the break.
The U.S. pushed it to 69-34 with a little more than 4 minutes left in the third after a flurry by Irving, allowing for extra playing time for players at the back end of the roster such as Andre Drummond and Gordon Hayward.
Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Mason Plumlee were the only Americans who didn’t play.
Before the game, U.S. military members presented each player with two dog tags. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said one featured the American flag, the player’s name, and the words leadership, service and teamwork, and the other featured the name of a serviceman.