Team USA basketball got back to their winning ways with a blowout against Iran. This is the first win in group play in the tournament. The Czech Republic will be the final test before the knockouts.
The first quarter featured a quick pace with back and forth scoring. Iran was able to keep up with team USA. They started the 8/12 shooting featuring three three-pointers from Damian Lillard. Iran called a timeout with the US having a 23-11. Behnam Yakhchslidehkotdi for Iran was not intimated and shot early and did so well. Kevin Durant was ready to go and also hit big shots early as he was trying to become the all-time leading USA basketball scorer. After one, the US had a 28-12 lead.
Iran was able to move the ball well and shoot. Hamed Haddadi was another player who wanted to build off a good first quarter. Iran started the second quarter on a cold streak, as did the Americans. Jrue Holiday finally broke through and that warranted a timeout for Iran. Haddadi answered out of the timeout. To counter, team USA moved the ball effectively and played stout defense.
The US started to break it open as the score was 47-17 neat the halfway point of the quarter. Jayson Tatum once again showed off one of his signature one-handed dunks on the break. Navid Rezaeifar got a corner three and coach Popovich felt the need to take a timeout. Lillard stayed hot as Dame Time came early. Iran continued to show intensity and confidence. The USA had the lead at halftime 60-30.
Third Quarter and The Rest of The Game
Durant and Devin Booker scored quickly as the lead grew. Iran at that point had 15 turnovers against three by the Americans. Iran needed to take a timeout as the deficit grew. Team USA took a bigger lead 72-34. Ball movement was a huge emphasis and there was a lot of improvement in that area. The lead expanded to 82-43.
Team USA didn’t look back and went on to win 120-66.
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