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Rio 2016 Olympic Men’s Basketball: Day nine

The United States, Australia and Serbia are all victorious on the final day of Group A pool play.


USA 100 – 97 France

The United States won their second straight game by three points and finished the Group A pool play undefeated at 5-0. After defeating China and Venezuela by a combined 101 points to begin the tournament, the U.S. has won their last three games by a combined 16. Klay Thompson was the unlikely savior against France, dropping 30 points on 9-16 shooting, including 7-13 from three-point range. Thompson’s previous high score in these Olympics was six versus Australia, and in the first four games combined he scored a mere 11. Kevin Durant contributed 17 points while Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony each chipped in ten apiece. One cause of concern for the U.S. was that they were out-rebounded by France, 35-29. The U.S. had out-rebounded every opponent up until that point, grabbing at least 40 boards in three of their first four games. France, who finished third in Group A with a 3-2 record, was led by Thomas Huertel and Nando de Colo who scored 18 points each. Charlotte Hornets forward Nicolas Batum contributed 14 points to the French cause as well.

 

Australia 81 – 56 Venezuela

The Aussies rolled Venezuela in their final pool play game and finished second in Group A, losing only to the United States. Venezuela, on the other hand, was eliminated from the competition after going 1-4 in pool play, with their lone win coming against winless China. Australia was paced in this game by Chris Goulding, who came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points in 25 minutes of play. Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles and Ryan Broekhoff also reached double figures for Australia, who rested current San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills. Venezuela only had two players in double figures: Anthony Perez (12) and David Cubillan (10). Venezuela only scored six points in the first quarter, before winning the second quarter by three to pull within seven heading into halftime. Australia only led by ten after the third, but pulled away by outscoring Venezuela 28-13 in the fourth. In their final two games of pool play, Venezuela failed to score more than 20 points in any of the eight quarters, while Australia scored at least 20 points in 14 of 20 quarters during the entirety of pool play.

 

Serbia 94 – 60 China

Serbia needed a win to advance, and they got one thanks in part to Bogdan Bogdanovic who led the team with 19 points in their blowout of China. Nikola Kalinic added 15 while Milan Macvan and Miroslav Raduljica each scored 11 for Serbia, who finished fourth in Group A and will await the winner of Group B in the quarterfinal round. Serbia broke this one open in the third quarter, outscoring China 35-15 before taking their foot off the gas pedal in the fourth. Former NBA player Yi Jianlian scored a game-high 20 points to lead China, who will be the only team of 12 in these Olympics not to win at least one game. Zhai Xiaochuan was the only other Chinese player to reach double figures, with 11. China lost their five pool play games by an average of almost 30 points. 

Rio 2016 Olympic Men’s Basketball: Day nine

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