U.S. women’s basketball team overcomes sluggish start in win over Japan

United States' A'Ja Wilson (9) blocks a shot by Japan's Yuki Miyazawa.
U.S. forward A’Ja Wilson, left, blocks a shot by Japan’s Yuki Miyazawa during an 86-69 U.S. win Friday.
(Gregory Shamus / Pool photo via Associated Press)

After a slow start against host Japan, the U.S. women’s basketball team found its form and won 86-69.

Reigning WNBA MVP A’Ja Wilson finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart had 15 points each, Jewell Loyd added 12 points and Diana Taurasi had 11.

Japan led early, scoring 30 points in a very offensive-minded first quarter. But the U.S. slowed down and locked in, holding Japan to 39 points over the next three quarters.


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“Kinda taking a breath,” Loyd said about the U.S. approach. “We’ve played a little fast in other games so just trying to get a rhythm for us, take it slow and play our basketball.”

The women finish pool play Monday afternoon in Saitama.