Kobe Bryant Leads Team USA Past Australia In Olympic Quarterfinals
In Team USA’s last group play game against Argentina, it was Kevin Durant who caught fire and started nailing three-pointers. In the third quarter, he made six triples, and the U.S. went from being up three at halftime to having a 28-point lead, which Argentina never recovered from.
Then, in Team USA’s most competitive game in these Olympics to date, it was LeBron who went on a one-man run to lift the Americans past Lithuania. After the U.S. was down 84-82 with less than six minutes to go, Chris Paul and Deron Williams made baskets to get the lead back, but it was all LeBron after that. Of the last 11 points scored by the Americans, LeBron dropped in nine and the U.S. ultimately won 99-94.
And now, most recently, in the U.S. team’s quarterfinal matchup against Australia, Kobe Bryant led the charge. The Americans were up 93-78, and each time the U.S. seemed like it was ready to break the game open, the Australians made a run to keep the score close. But that ended quickly once Kobe Bryant decided to take over.
For four consecutive possessions, Kobe rose up behind the three-point line, took aim and got nothing but net. LeBron James racked up three assists in the process, and in that span of just 66 seconds, the U.S. increased its 15-point lead to 25.
Ultimately, it is clear that Kobe's aerial display broke Australia’s spirit, as the Australians went on to score only six more points for the rest of the game, and the final score ended up being 119-86.
Now, Team USA will go up against Argentina for the third time in less than three weeks. The exhibition game between the two teams was a narrow victory for the U.S. as the final score was 86-80. While the Americans got off to a strong start, Argentina’s stars Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino all had strong outings—combining for 65 percent of their team’s points. In their most recent matchup, however, which took place on August 6, the game was only competitive until halftime before Kevin Durant’s aforementioned electric shooting became too much for Argentina to overcome.
But now, after LeBron saved the Americans against Lithuania, Durant lit up Argentina and Kobe couldn't miss against Australia, who will come through for the U.S. in their upcoming rematch against Argentina?
The semifinal between Team USA and Argentina is a must-see and will start at 4pm EST on Friday. The winner will play either Spain or Russia in the gold-medal game.