Dallas Mavericks newcomer Andrew Bogut continued his impressive Olympic campaign for Australia, but it wasn’t enough as Team USA took the victory.
With both teams coming into Wednesday nights matchup with a 2-0 record in Rio, Australia looked to keep their underdog momentum going as the faced all the odds against Team USA.
With USA winning by over 44 points in each of their first two games, many people in the basketball universe was hoping for a more competitive matchup with USA, and did the people ever get their wish.
Australia made it known from the opening tip that USA was in for a different game on Wednesday as they executed to almost perfection and matched USA on the physicality front, something USA wasn’t used to.
Known for their stout defense, USA gave up 29 points in the first quarter to a determined Australia team.
Late into the second quarter, Australia found themselves up by five after shooting 65% from the field. With Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut leading the way, Australia went into the half with a surprising five point lead.
Australia kept up the same momentum but it was Carmelo Anthony that stepped up to the occasion for Team USA.
Under the leadership and play of Anthony, USA went into the fourth quarter up by just three points; still much closer of a game than what everyone imagined. With many people holding on to the belief that USA would pull away, Australia stuck to their guns and battled until the last whistle, losing just 88-98.
Carmelo Anthony led the way for Team USA with 31 points on 11/21 shooting. Mavs newcomer Harrison Barnes was the only Team USA player who did not log a single minute. It was a close game the entire matchup where players such as DeMar DeRozan logged just three minutes of play.
On the Australian front, it was Patty Mills who led the way with 30 points on 11/22 shooting. Mavs big man Andrew Bogut was impressive once again logging 15 points and three blocks on 26 minutes.
Bogus’s hard fouls on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant drew heavy complaints from the USA sidelines, but nothing that warranted more than a common foul. Both Paul George and DeAndre Jordan received technical fouls in the matchup.
See full box score here.
It was a surprising test of Team USA, well surprising to everyone except for Andrew Bogut and the rest of the Australian national team. Now we all wait to see if both teams can match up in the gold medal game.