Photo: USA Basketball/Twitter

The Haka pregame energized New Zealand, leading to an initial 10-point lead against Steve Kerr’s team. Despite the slow start, USA regained control by halftime and cruised to a comfortable 99-72 victory.

New Zealand’s intense Haka set the tone, helping them surge to a 14-4 lead, backed by passionate fans. USA adjusted tactics, with Paolo Banchero as the linchpin, taking a 45-36 lead at halftime. New Zealand resisted a significant USA lead until late, unable to narrow the gap due to balanced USA attacks.

Banchero led the game with 21 points, including back-to-back threes in the third quarter as the USA team widened the score gap. He made 8 of 10 field goal attempts and secured the highest 4 blocks in the game.