What was once a close game at halftime turned into a blowout in the second half thanks to Kevin Durant‘s monster third quarter.Basketball is a game of runs and Team USA made that statement hold true Monday afternoon. At the start of the third quarter, Argentina trailed the United States by one points. By the end of the third quarter, Argentina trail by 26 points. Team USA, Durant in particular, heated up in the third by bombing three-pointers from all over the court. Durant made five three-pointers in the third, including two on back-to-back possessions.
And for the defense that was lacking the past game against Lithuania and the first two quarters against Argentina, well, it showed up in that third quarter as well. The United States surrendered seven points to Argentina through the first six and a half minutes of the quarter, pushing their lead from one point to 16 points during that span. The United States closed the quarter on a 17-7 run with a Carmelo Anthony three-pointer as time expired.
That would be his only field goal of the game as he finished 1-6 from the field. Not to worry though, Durant scored 28 points, LeBron James chipped in 17 and Chris Paul scored 17, hitting five of six from the three-point line. The United States made 20 of 39 three-point attempts after going ice cold against Lithuania. Argentina is no slouch defensively, either. Remember, they beat the United States in the semifinals in Athens, Greece in 2004. Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala scored 13 points and nine rebounds apiece off the bench, too.
In the end, the United States beat Argentina 126-97. The United States got hot from three-point land and started sharing the ball again (29 assists; only 13 assists against Lithuania).
As we enter the ‘Knockout Stage’, the United States is looking to be the clear-cut #1 favorite to win Gold, especially since challenger Spain has lost twice already.
Who do you think the favorite is to knock off the United States?