SAITAMA, Japan — The United States got back on track in their quest for a fourth consecutive gold medal on Wednesday after a 54 point blow-out win against Iran buoyed by a barrage of three pointers as they put behind their disappointing loss on Sunday against France.
US guard Damian Lillard was sizzling hot to begin the game as he hit six threes in the first half, helping the Americans shoot 63% from beyond the arc as they built a commanding 60-30 lead.
Lillard, who plays for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Portland Trail Blazers, finished with a game high 21 points. The US ended up making 19 threes for the game and came away with a 120-66 victory.
Stout defense and sweet shooting catapulted them to victory, as they forced turnovers and held Iran’s best player guard Behnam Yakhchalidehkordi to only six points, a far cry from his sensational performance from his team’s first game when he had a game high 23 points.
Kevin Durant, who was saddled with foul trouble in the game against France, bounced back with a terrific all around performance finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, three blocks and zero turnovers.
His great execution was epitomized in one possession mid-way through the third quarter when he blocked a shot, retrieved possession and threw a pass to a running Bam Adebayo for a dunk. — Reuters