U.S.A. 119 vs AUSTRALIA 86
It wasn't easy but, hey, history was made.
It was an ugly game from the start for the U.S. The Americans had the usual bad habits from the start: not a lot of passing and quite a bit of 3-point chucking. But what really slowed the game down was the overload of freethrows and fouls.
Australia wasn't very good at making those foul shots and that contributed to the deficit. In the meantime, Kobe Bryant continued his slump in the Olympics. But there was no doubt the gap in talent between these two teams (DID YOU SEE TNLPs LeBRON JAMES THREW?) as, even in a not-so-good showing, the Americans led the Aussies in the first half, 56-42.
Patty Mills (who played for the Spurs last season) led an 11-0 third quarter start against the Americans. But the Americans stepped up their defense... and Kobe got out of his slump by making back-to-back three-pointers. LeBron James continued his great versatile play as the Americans got the lead back to 14 at the end of 3.
The Aussies tried to hang with the Americans in the fourth before Kobe Bryant put it away with four straight threes. Australia played with some great effort... and they were only down by a respectable margin, only for Kobe and company to shut it down.
Mills led everyone with 26 points while Kobe scored all of his 20 points in the second half. Meanwhile, LeBron finished with a triple-double (11-14-12) and it's the first trip-dub in Team U.S.A. Olympic basketball history. Amazing.
Australia has nothing to be ashamed of... but they are now eliminated from the tournament. U.S.A. faces Argentina in the semifinals on Friday (REMATCH!). Losers should get groin shots from the winners.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images.