Olympic roundup: Team USA joins Italy, France, Australia in quarterfinals
Kevin Durant scores 23 points to break Carmelo Anthony's American Olympic scoring mark and Jayson Tatum adds 27 in a comprehensive rout for Team USA.
From NBA.com Staff
Group A: United States 119, Czech Republic 84
Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 23 and set a pair of USA Basketball men’s Olympic records, and the U.S. defeated the Czechs 119-84 on Saturday to clinch a berth in the knockout stage.
Zach LaVine scored 13 points, Jrue Holiday had 11 and JaVale McGee finished with 10 points for the U.S. The Americans shot 7 for 20 in the first quarter — then made 33 of 44 shots over the next 26 minutes, including a staggering 21-for-25 start to the second half.
The U.S. (2-1) finished second behind France in Group A, but will join the French, Australia and the winner of Sunday’s game between Slovenia and Spain as a top-four seed for Tuesday’s quarterfinals based on FIBA’s tiebreaker system that includes point differential.
Those quarterfinal matchups will be decided in a draw on Sunday night, but the U.S. has now assured itself of not having to face any of the three group winners until at least the semifinals.
Group A: France 79, Iran 62
With a 79-62 Group A win over Iran, France finished atop Group A at 3-0 and secured a spot in the Quarterfinals.
Brooklyn Nets forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Thomas Huertel, Nando De Colo and Vincent Poirier all scored in double figures for France. Huertel led the way with 16 points.
Hamed Haddadi scored a game-high 18 points for Iran.
Group B: Italy 80, Nigeria 71
Italy held Nigeria to just 8 points in the fourth quarter to close out Group B play with an 80-71 win. Italy finished 2-1, while Nigeria finished 0-3.
Five players finished in double figures for Italy, led by former NBA forward Nicolo Melli’s 15 points and Golden State Warriors guard Nico Mannion’s 14.
Sacramento Kings forward Chimezie Metu posted a game-high 22 points for Nigeria. Milwaukee Bucks forward Jordan Nwora added 20.
Italy’s win, combined with an Australia win over Germany later on Saturday, clinched a spot in the knockout stage for the Italians.
Group B: Australia 89, Germany 76
Australia held off a valiant effort from Germany to close out Group B play on Saturday, edging the Germans 89-76.
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills led Australia with 24 points. The Aussies finished atop Group B at 3-0 and will advance to the quarterfinal round. Their win also means Italy will advance.
Australia led 44-40 at the break, and outscored Germany 45-36 in the second half.
Germany finished Olympic competition at 1-2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.