MALAGA, Spain -- The U.S. World Cup basketball team got its first big test of the summer Sunday, and a perfect shooting night from Jalen Brunson helped ensure the Americans passed.
Brunson was 9-for-9 from the field on the way to a team-best 21 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 14 and the U.S. pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Spain 98-88 in a pre-World Cup exhibition between tournament favorites. Spain is the No. 1-ranked team in the world according to FIBA; the U.S. is No. 2.
The Americans shot 67% -- 71% on 2-pointers, 56% on 3-pointers, while holding Spain to 42% shooting.
The U.S. improved to 3-0 in its pre-World Cup tour with two games left before arriving in Manila for the tournament. The Americans have averaged 101.3 points in those three games against Puerto Rico (117-74), Slovenia (92-62) and Spain, with an average winning margin of 27.7 points.
The U.S. led just 73-72 going into the final 10-minute quarter, before seven straight points down the stretch pushed the lead out to 97-84.
Tyrese Haliburton had 12 assists in just under 22 minutes off the bench for the U.S., his second double-figure assist game so far this summer. Mikal Bridges scored 12 points and three players -- Brandon Ingram, Austin Reaves and Anthony Edwards -- each added 11.
The U.S. departs Monday for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for its final two pre-World Cup games this coming weekend against Greece and Germany. The World Cup starts in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan on Aug. 25; the Americans start their World Cup slate Aug. 26.