Not only did Team USA topple Nigeria in a dominating 156-73 victory but they claimed three records of their own.
Most points in an Olympic game: Check. Their 156 points bested Brazil’s mark of 138.
Most 3-pointers in a game: Check. They converted on 29-of-46 3-point attempts.
Most points for an American: Check. Carmelo Anthony finished with 37 points, including 10 3-pointers, in a mere 14:29 minutes.
It was an awe-inspiring night for the Americans and one that will be remembered as the night their ethereal talents finally came to fruition. Nigeria, who boast two NBA talents in Al Farouq-Aminu and Ike Diogu, was subjected to this improbable barrage of 3-pointers and transition points.
From the onset, Team USA opened on a 10-0 run in less than three minutes, it was going to be an unbearable night for the Nigerians, who beat Tunisia in their first preliminary game.
Kobe Bryant played as if he was 27, again; he scored via a couple of dunks in transition, from behind the arc and in the middle of the floor. Bryant and Kevin Durant combined for 23 of the American’s first 25 points. LeBron James chipped in four assists in the period. The bench unit took over in a seamless transition as Anthony and Russell Westbrook immediately added a couple of 3-pointers in transition. The Nigerians allowed 49 points in the first quarter alone, 33 of which came from the 3-point line.
The Nigerian defense stepped up in the second quarter and allowed a mere 29 points and only three 3-pointers. They still struggled to prevent anything with a pulse but that also was attributed to the efficacy of their opponents. And a little bit of luck.
Unfortunately, the route wasn’t over. In addition to Anthony knocking down every shot in sight, every other American converted on a 3-pointer with the exception of Tyson Chandler and Anthony Davis. I would go on but I don’t think I need to mention anything that happened in the fourth quarter for fear of sounding like a broken record.
The Americans already did enough of that tonight.