Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Record-Setting Demolition

I suppose it's in vogue to find something to criticize each time the U.S. men play a basketball game. Nigeria scored 73 points against the U.S. Nigeria hadn't scored more than 60 in its first two games. But that would be the height of nitpicking.

The U.S. played a nearly flawless game. They made 29 three pointers on 46 shots. But there can be no worries about the U.S. relying on the three too heavily because over 90% of those perimeter shots were wide open. The starters were embarrassed with their play against Tunisia and showed their level of pride by rectifying their poor performance in this contest. Kobe Bryant (16 points in 10 minutes) was especially magical on both sides of the floor.

Carmelo Anthony flew by the former American Olympic single-game scoring record. Anthony had 37 points on 10-12 shooting from beyond the arc in 14 minutes. The previous record was held by Stephan Marbury, 31, for that disappointing 2004 squad. The Americans also blew by the old record for most points scored by one team in an Olympic game. Brazil had 138 in a 1988 game. The U.S. scored 156. Forty nine of those were in a breath-taking opening quarter.

Russell Westbrook had 21 points on 7 for 8 shooting and 3 steals. Deron Williams had 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting and 11 assists. Only one American player shot under 50% from the field on the day. As well as the U.S. shot from three-point range, they were even better from inside the arc, going 30-37.

For Nigeria, Ike Diogu scored 27 points and often got inside to score. Tony Skinn, a Marylander who played on George Mason's 2006 Final Four run, crossed up James Harden, but played an overall poor game.

The Dream Teamers defeated Angola by 68 points in 1992. This win was by an incredible 83 points. The score was 156-73.

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