U.S. Men’s Basketball tops Australia

Kyrie Irving was all smiles after a hard fought victory over Australia. Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost
Kyrie Irving was all smiles after a hard fought victory over Australia. Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

On Wednesday, the U.S. Men’s Basketball team squared off against Australia. The USA came out victorious 98-88, but it wasn’t easy. It took a valiant fourth-quarter effort for them to stay alive and earn the win.

Team USA finished the game 39.1 percent (34-87) in FGs and 43.6 percent (17-39) in three-point field goals. They also forced 17 turnovers and they were able to score 23 points off those turnovers. They also registered 21 offensive rebounds which led to 23 second-chance points. Australia literally forced the U.S. to fight for every point.

At halftime, the U.S trailed 54-49. This was the first time since the 2004 Olympics that the U.S. trailed at the end of a quarter. Team USA struggled in the first half, shooting just 37 percent, going 10-for-21 in 3-point shots, and 7-for-25 in field goals. But they were able to get back on the their feet and play better in the second half.

Early in the third quarter, the Americans went on a quick 9-0 run, but Australia still refused to go away. By the end of the third, the U.S. had a three-point lead. During the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony combined for 26 of the 28 points scored by Team USA.

Anthony scored a team-high of 31 points, Irving 19, Kevin Durant 14. After scoring his fourteenth point, Anthony became the all-time leading scorer in U.S. Olympic basketball history, passing Lebron James.

Team USA is now on a 20-game winning streak in Olympic competition and 71 in international play as well as 83-1 under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Now that they’ve wrapped up their competitive bout against the Australians, Team USA will be taking on Serbia tonight.

Team USA will look to stay hot and be the team to beat in Rio.