Tyrese and Team USA’s first exhibition game was on August 7 against Puerto Rico. This was Haliburton’s first televised game since March 25th’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, as he missed the final 7 games of the 2022-23 season due to ankle issues. Haliburton was selected to represent the USA in the FIBA World Cup and once his injury had healed, he joined his teammates for the first game against the Puerto Rican team.
Haliburton’s first half was pretty quiet, as he was subbed in late in the first quarter, and recorded four assists and nothing much else in the first half before getting subbed out after playing roughly eight minutes in the half.
The second half, however, was when he would do his best work, checking in with 4 minutes left in the third quarter and going to work shortly thereafter, getting three assists, increasing his total to 7 in the game. Haliburton would not go scoreless thankfully, as he would hit a layup early in the 4th quarter for his first points in a Team USA uniform.
Shortly after, Tyrese would have his finest play on the night, hitting Cam Johnson for an alley-oop after starting a fast break. Keep Cam Johnson’s name in mind, as you will hear about him again.
Of course, what would a Tyrese Haliburton game be without at least one no-look pass? Here’s a fantastic one to Jaren Jackson Jr. for the open dunk under the basket.
Tyrese Haliburton would score his seventh and final points of the game on a dunk from Austin Reaves and get up to 12 assists with a pass to Walker Kessler for a garbage time bucket.
Overall, Tyrese Haliburton would finish the night with 7 points (3-5 FG and 1-2 3PT), 12 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and only 1 turnover in 21 total minutes of play off the bench as Team USA cruised past Puerto Rico with a 117-74 victory. Haliburton’s 11 assists were only 3 less than Puerto Rico’s whole team, who logged 14 assists and Team USA’s looked so much more connected and fluid with him on the floor as opposed to him on the bench. This performance, although not spectacular, drew some eyes from fans as Tyrese’s passing masterclass was certainly one to write home about.