This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at 4:11 pm and is filed under Basketball, Misc. Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The “Redeem Team” routed Australia, today 116-85 and are just two wins away from the elusive gold medal. Team USA has not won a gold medal since the 2000 games in Sydney. The Americans are guaranteed to play for a medal, but anything less than gold will be a disappointment. The Aussies played the Americans tough early, trailing by only one point after the first quarter. Australia was poised to build on the success they had against the Americans in an exhibition game on August 5th. They were missing center Andrew Bogut (sore ankle) that game and only lost by 11 points. The American team has been going on big runs early in the second quarter, overwhelming other teams with their athleticism and depth.  There is almost no drop-off when the bench rotates in and their swarming defense has created numerous transition baskets.

Two weeks later, with Bogut in the lineup, the Aussies were significantly outrebounded and poorly defended the Americans perimeter game. Bogut would finish with only four points and left early in the third quarter due to re-aggravating his sore ankle. The Americans are playing with much more confidence now and are on a mission to show the world they are the best team

They increased their lead to 12 going into halftime by scoring 30 points in the second quarter. The U.S. also out-rebounded Australia by 18 in the first half. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony led the way with 12 first half points each, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant chipped in with 8 points a piece.

Dream Team 4.0 turned it up in the second half with a 14-0 run to start the third quarter. They erupted for 34 points in the period (nine from Kobe) and continued to show their ability to go on massive scoring binges. The U.S. would go into the final quarter with a commanding 28 point lead. It took Australia six minutes to finally score in the third quarter.  Australia shot just 42% from the field and were outrebounded 58-28. The U.S. shot an impressive 57% and recorded 10 steals. Team USA also hit 9 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.

Bryant  had a big second half and finished the game with 25 points in 26 minutes (4-7 from downtown), Lebron had 16 points and nine rebounds and Anthony chipped in 15 points. Deron Williams and Chris Bosh each scored 10 points. The U.S. will face Argentina in the semi-finals.

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