Team USA will rely heavily on its shooting, and a cold shooting night in a one-game elimination tournament could send the Americans home disappointed. But Australia rallied behind Patty Mills, who scored 30 points, including his team's final 10.
It was the first loss for the U.S.in a major worldwide tournament or exhibition since the 2006 world championship semifinals against Greece.
Team USA by no means is a lock to win the World Cup, which begins in one week.
Pop believes that his team should learn from this result: "It's not just the fourth quarter; we didn't play well for the entire game".
Australia had not beaten the USA in a senior men's basketball game in 66 attempts, a record stretching back 55 years.
Kemba Walker scored 22 points for the USA and Harrison Barnes scored 20. The United States will face Canada in their next exhibition contest in Sydney, Australia on Monday, August 26th at 5:30am ET on NBA TV and Twitch.
"It's a friendly so we want to keep it in context", Australia centre Andrew Bogut said.
While Popovich said trimming the roster down to 12 is never easy, clearly some players helped him out by withdrawing on their own.
However, this loss - particularly on the eve of the World Cup - will lead to questions regarding the decisions of National Basketball Association stars like LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and Kawhi Leonard to not take part in the World Cup.
"US is used to winning so hopefully we can get back on that track".
"We looked discombobulated at times and made some more decisions. some of it is expected with a new group that's trying to learn about each other and learn a system". "That's all we can do is continue to try our best to get better".
"We didn't hold them the way we needed to defensively and we need to be a good defensive and rebounding team and we weren't today".