Awful start dooms U.S. at FIBA World Cup yet again

Kemba Walker and Team USA fell behind Stefan Jovic and Serbia early and never recovered.

Things went from bad to about as bad as it can get for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.

How bad? Try trailing Serbia by a 32-7 count to start the game.

The end result was closer, with Serbia hanging on for a 94-89 win. But this was the consolation round as the U.S. was coming off a loss to France.

Now, the best the Americans can finish is seventh. Remember, these are NBA players we’re talking about. And this will be the worst the U.S. has finished since NBA players were allowed to take part in World Cup and Olympic play in 1992.

Sacramento Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic has been outstanding for Serbia all tournament and this day was no different. Bogdanovic scored a game-high 28 points as he huffed and puffed and blew the American’s house down.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic added nine points and seven assists.

The U.S. was paced by Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who scored 22. Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker bounced back from a so-so showing against France with 18 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Milwaukee Bucks small forward Khris Middleton added 16 points.

The Americans close the tournament Saturday, when they face the loser of Poland vs. the Czech Republic.