2016 Olympic Men’s Basketball: Day Three Recap
Game 1: Australia 95, Serbia 80
Trailing by three points at the end of three quarters, Australia outscored Serbia 33-17 in the fourth to pull out its second Group A win in Olympic men’s basketball competition.
Australia is 2-0 in Olympic men’s basketball play for the first time, and did so on the strength of excellent guard play and blistering defense down the stretch. Along with Sunday’s win over France, the Aussies have now upset FIBA’s fifth and sixth-ranked teams.
Serbia held a 43-40 lead at halftime and led 63-62 at the end of the third, but after two lead changes early in the fourth, consecutive layups by Patty Mills and Aron Baynes gave Australia a 70-67 lead. Serbia stayed within four points until the final three minutes, where Australia pulled away with a 15-4 run.
Australia’s guard play was outstanding, led by Matthew Dellavedova’s double-double of 23 points and 12 assists. Mills finished with a game-high 26 points. Center Andrew Bogut had nine points and 12 rebounds, and Baynes had 10 points and seven boards.
Game 2: United States 113, Venezuela 69
A nervous first quarter gave way to a dominant second, and the United States rolled to victory over Venezuela Monday.
The U.S. committed nine fouls and played sloppy defense in a first quarter that ended in an 18-all tie, but rebounded with a 30-8 second period that only build toward its second victory in Group A.
A nearly even third quarter led to a 38-18 advantage for the U.S. in the fourth.
Team USA shot 55 percent from the field to Venezuela’s 34 percent. It also out-rebounded Venezuela 42-32 and forced 18 turnovers.
John Cox, a cousin of Kobe Bryant, had a coming out party for Venezuela with 19 points.
Game 3: France 88, China 60
France nearly led wire-to-wire and led by as many as 29 points as it cruised to a victory over China Monday night.
Coming off Sunday’s unexpected loss to Australia, France rebounded against an overmatched China team by shooting 60 percent from the field, including 66 percent on two-pointers (29 of 48). It also made 6 of 13 3-pointers. A 23-9 second quarter margin gave France a big cushion to work with.
China was frigid from the field all game. They shot just 38 percent from the floor and a forgettable 4-19 from three. France outscored the Chinese 40-30 in the paint, out-rebounded it by a wide 42-20 margin and carried a 31-22 advantage in bench scoring. Despite a poor shooting night, China forced 23 French turnovers and made 14 steals.
France had four players score in double figures. They were led by 19 points from Nando De Colo. Veteran Tony Parker scored 14 points and added eight assists; while Rudy Gobert had 10 points and five blocked shots. Big man Nicolas Batum had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Former NBA role player Yi Jianlian led China with 19 points and six rebounds.
Coming Wednesday: Group A
Serbia (1-1, 3 points) vs. France (1-1, 3 points), 1:15 p.m.
Australia (2-0, 4 points) vs. United States, (2-0, 4 points), 6 p.m.
Venezuela (0-2, 2 points) vs. China (0-2, 2 points), 9:30 p.m.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – JULY 10: Tony Parker of France celebrate after winning the match against Canada for the FIBA 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Championship held in Manila on 10 July 2016. (Photo by George Calvelo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)