Global Warriors: Advancing to the Quarterfinals
Team USA and Italy Advance to Tokyo Olympics Quarterfinals
The quest for Olympic glory continues as Warriors on Olympic teams — Draymond Green (USA), Steve Kerr (USA), Nico Mannion (Italy) — advance to the men’s basketball quarterfinals.
A 80-71 Italy win on Saturday resulted in thereby ending Nigeria’s pursuit for an Olympic medal. Team Nigeria (0-3), led by Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, fell short in preliminary round play.
The American and Italian national teams each sit at 2-1 heading into the quarterfinals, which tipoffs Monday, August 2.
Let’s get caught up on the action following Olympic preliminary round play:
Durant Makes Team USA History
Team USA (2-1) finished second behind France in Group A, with a 119-84 victory against the Czech Republic in the final game of the group stage.
Though Team USA trailed Czech Republic at the end of the first quarter, a series of splashes in the second half from Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant helped clinch a quarterfinal spot.
Tatum led Team USA with 27 points while Durant added 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and set an Olympic record as the U.S. Men's Basketball all-time leading scorer.
Durant, who is participating in his third Olympic Games, entered Saturday's game needing six points to surpass four-time Olympian and fellow NBA player Carmelo Anthony’s record of 336 points. With his 23-point performance, Durant now leads as the all-time scoring lead with 354 points.
"I've had a lot asked of me every team I've been on since I was 8 years old. It's no different here," Durant shared. "But I feel I have to be available to do every single thing out on the court…I've worked to be at that point, and it's fun.”
Draymond Green posted eight points, four rebounds and two assists in the win.
Team USA will join France, Australia and the winner of Sunday’s game between Slovenia and Spain as a top-four seed for next week’s quarterfinals.
Italy Outscores Nigeria To Advance
Team Italy (2-1) earned a 80-71 win over Nigeria to close out Group B preliminary play on Saturday.
Italy held off Nigeria in the final frame, using a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to rally to a win. Nico Mannion sank a three-pointer with 29.9 seconds left to seal the victory, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and one steal.
“If you’re not playing with any pressure, what is there to play for? It’s fun to play with that,” Mannion shared after his clutch shot.
Mannion also praised (Mike) Brown following the matchup stating, “He’s an amazing coach.”
Italy finished second in Group B behind Australia (3-0) and ahead of Germany (1-2) as the team advances to the quarterfinals.
Though quarterfinal matchups remain to be determined in a draw on Sunday night, Warriors on international teams continue to make the most of their time in Tokyo.
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