Kyle Kuzma is one of 13 players in Australia with Team USA to finish up the exhibition tour before 12 of those players are chosen for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Competition is stiff for the final spot so the Los Angeles Lakers forward has to show out in order to secure his place.
On Thursday morning, he did just that. In the first of two exhibition games against an Australian team featuring Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills, Kuzma showed his value by hitting four 3-pointers including three in the first quarter.
All four of Kuzs makes in the win over Australia pic.twitter.com/6XJ7aY8gXf
— UnwrittenRules (@UnwrittenRul3s) August 22, 2019
The forward also used the opportunity to raise some awareness for the Amazon rainforest fires in Brazil.
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Kuz also showcased some newfound defensive chops.
Kyle Kuzma with an excellent defensive performance for Team USA.
Successfully switched onto Patty Mills (an international hoops killer) and battled Australia's bigs down low. pic.twitter.com/RPp74psnTD
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) August 22, 2019
Kuzma had spoken at length about the improvements he has made to his shot after a disappointing season from behind the arc last year. Team USA has given him the ability to showcase the new ability in a game setting, something Kuzma had spoken highly about.
Kuzma finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line and added two rebounds in his 19 minutes of game time. Team USA won the game 102 to 86. The squad shot 13 of 30 from behind the arc as a whole.
Team USA will face off against Australia again at 12 AM PST on Saturday as they near the time to make their final cut before the start of the World Cup.