Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Olympics: Klay Thompson leads USA past France

Felix Bryan | 18 August, 2016, 01:23

Here comes the fire, the blazing brand of basketball that surely will result in gold medals for the men of Team USA in the Rio Olympics.

After a pair of blowout wins over China and Venezuela to open the tournament, the United States have received a wake-up call in the way of narrow three-point wins over France and Serbia and a battling 10-point victory against Australia.

Team USA's opponent for quarterfinal play August 17 is still to be determined, with the final preliminary games occurring Monday.

Thompson shot 9-of-16 overall, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

If not for Klay Thompson's breakout game, the Americans may have lost.

Nicolás Laprovíttola led the Argentines with 21 points, one rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Huddle: Kyle Lowry with teammates DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant during the Group A game between the United States and France.

Based on the Olympics setup, the United States will play the Group B fourth seed.

Unfortunately for George, who also accused Australia of being "dirty," this year's Olympic squads are hardly the best opponents have to offer.

Shockingly, France out-rebounded the USA 35-29 through four quarters. While Thompson and Kevin Durant had the scoring covered on Sunday, the defense that got players like Butler added to the roster for the Olympics was sorely missing. "He's resting" - and with leading scorer Nando De Colo held out of the final 15 minutes with what looked like a right knee injury. "We come into these games with the same mindset - to dominate". "But that being said, you have to know how to adjust". He makes all three free throws to cut the lead down to eight 67-59. This, after entering the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead. The young Nuggets star scored 25, bringing Serbia within three points in the final seconds.

Current NBA rotational big man Luis Scola and former NBA players Carlos Delfino and Andres Nocioni join Ginobili on a team that got crushed by Team USA, 111-74, during a five-city exhibition showcase last month. Thompson made seven 3-pointers on his way to 30 points, after having gone 4 of 26 from the field in the first four games. The team, comprised of National Basketball Association superstars, narrowly defeated France, 100-97, to close out group play with a sterling unblemished record. Never has it had to go down to the wire three straight times.

The Aussies (seen here in this morning's game against Lithuania) are piling up the double-digit wins. "We've got to be prepared for a grind-out game".

That's about it for game-changing defenders, but it's more than enough - and far better than any other team can offer.

Team USA's primary strength, and what it's ridden to success over the past decade-plus, is the ability to put five super-athletes on the floor, have them unleash hell on defense and push the pace on offense.

"We have some great competition out there, some great games", Anthony said.

"This isn't a tournament that we're going to just dominate", USA guard Paul George said. "No matter the opponent, we just got to stick to how we're playing".

Serbia defeated winless China 94-60 to grab the last Group A spot.

USA Basketball has a tough path to reach the Olympic finals. Venezuela missed 39 of their 60 shots to finish the game at 35 percent from the field.

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