USA 99, Lithuania 94
What would have been a shocking upset was averted when LeBron James took over down the stretch to save Team USA’s bacon. I’m not precisely sure how and why they were in that position in the first place, but there you are. Lithuania continues to prove that it’s a tough team to beat, but they don’t appear to be anywhere close to medaling.
LeBron and Carmelo Anthony led team USA with 20 points each, Kevin Durant had 16 and Deron Williams added 12. Linas Kleiza of Lithuania led all scorers with 25 points.
Australia 106, Great Britain 75
Great Britain actually led for pretty much the entire first half, but got absolutely blown away by Australia in the second, getting outscored 70-30 after halftime. The ugly details can be found here. Let’s just say that Patty Mills (39 points, 14/22 shooting) pretty much had the game of his life and Luol Deng (9 points, 3/15 shooting), uh, didn’t.
Russia 77, Spain 74
Hey, remember how Spain was supposed to be the most significant threat to Team USA’s quest for the gold? Yeah, we may need to revise that assessment.
After very nearly collapsing against Great Britain before getting bailed out by Great Britain’s collective brain fart, Spain came roaring out of the gate like the behemoth they were supposed to be. They opened on a 20-2 run and led by 17 after one quarter. But Russia won the second quarter and trailed by 8 at halftime, then came out in the second half and surged into the lead with a 19-7 run. Spain then led by as many as 9 in the fourth before collapsing again. Pau Gasol went to the free throw line with 5 seconds left and bricked a free throw that would have tied the game and that was that. Vitaliy Fridzon, who provided the heroics in Russia’s win over Brazil by hitting the game winning three with 5 seconds left, nailed a pair of free throws to clinch it. Fridzon led all scorers with 24 and Gasol led Spain with 20.
France 73, Tunisia 69
Tunisia has been surprisingly resilient in this tournament. They don’t have the wins to show for it, but they’ve given Team USA, Argentina and now France a run for their money. Admittedly, they also lost to Nigeria — otherwise known as the team who lost by 83 to Team USA — but still. They’ve at least competed hard.
Sadly, Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker can be a bit much to handle when you’re a team like Tunisia that isn’t exactly overstocked with elite talent. Parker scored 22 points and Batum added 19 to lead France to victory. Mohamed Hadidane led Tunisia with 20 points in just 14 minutes.
Brazil 98, China 59
Here’s what you need to know: Brazil is considered a possible challenger to Team USA. China is not. Also, China shot 34.5% from the field. Brazil shot 47.5%. There you are.
Argentina 93, Nigeria 79
On the bright side for Nigeria, they didn’t lose by 83 again. On the not-so-bright side, they were never close to winning this game. Of course, close is a relative term, and pretty much anything would seem close after an 83 point shellacking. So there’s that.
As per usual, Argentina was led by Luis Scola (22 points), Manu Ginobili (13 points, 8 assists) and Carlos Delfino (18 points). Former Bull Andres Nocioni added 17 of his own. Ike Diogu led Nigeria with 16 points and 11 rebounds.