Quarterfinals: USA beats Aussies
Redeem Team USA has a habit of starting off slow only to embarrass their opponents at the end. Again, this is how their Quarterfinal matchup against Australia turned out, the 4th seed in bracket A. The Aussies had felt that their Exhibition showing against USA (they lost only 85-76) would prepare them well if they were to meet in the tournament as they did today, but if anything it opened Team USA's eyes up and made them realize that every game is going to be a fight.
The game was 25-24 at the end of the 1st quarter. Even towards the end of the 1st half it was close, but the US had a few key plays notably a buzzer-beating three pointer by PG Deron Williams. This put the lead to 12 at the half. Team US just ran away with it starting the third quarter, with Kobe knocking down a few threes and other shots, and soon enough the score was 69-43.
Kobe Bryant had his best game of the Olympics, churning out 25 points in 25 minutes along with 5 rebounds and 4 / 7 from three point land. LeBron James had 16 points 9 rebounds 4 steals and Carmelo Anthony put up 15 points 5 rebounds and 2 / 5 three pointers. USA continues to be extremely efficient from the floor, shooting 66% thanks to plenty of easy baskets. One negative sign is that Team USA continues to shoot free throws poorly (18 of 31 for 58%) and was shooting three pointers poorly until a barrage in the 2nd half got their percentage up to 41% for the game.
Australia's stud NBA player Andrew Bogut suffered through foul trouble and contributed just 4 points and 2 rebounds to go with 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 11 minutes. The Aussies grabbed just 28 rebounds to Team USA's 57, doubled up by the athleticism from the USA wing players. Australia began to show their frustration as the game got away, with Mark Worthington taking a hack at Carmelo Anthony and inciting the USA team further. Patrick Mills had a nice effort with 20 points 2 threes and 3 steals.
Greece and Argentina are playing right now in the other Olympic Quarterfinal matchup to decide who goes on to play Team USA. Greece is looking to avenge the Athens loss in 2004 to Argentina.