Tokyo Olympics

Team USA wallops Iran in Olympic men’s basketball

Delfin Dioquino
Team USA wallops Iran in Olympic men’s basketball

DEMOLITION. Jayson Tatum and Team USA make easy work of Iran.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Stunned by France in its Tokyo Olympics opener, Team USA redeems itself in Group A play behind a balanced attack of six players in double figures

Team USA got its bid for a fourth straight men’s basketball gold back on track after obliterating Iran, 120-66, in the Tokyo Olympics at the Saitama Super Arena on Wednesday, July 28.

Stunned by France in the opener, the United States put on a sweeping performance expected from the reigning three-time Olympic champion in Group A behind a balanced attack of six players in double figures.

Damian Lillard torched the Iranians with 21 points and 5 assists as the Americans blew the game wide open in the first two quarters, going into the break with a 30-point halftime lead.

While the United States muffed wide-open triples late in its loss to France, it had no trouble making it rain from outside against Iran, knocking down 19 of their 39 three-pointers for a stellar mark of 49%.

Lillard led the three-point barrage with a whopping seven treys, while Kevin Durant, Zach LaVine, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, and Jrue Holiday drained two three-pointers each.

Must Read

HIGHLIGHTS: USA vs Iran – Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball

HIGHLIGHTS: USA vs Iran – Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball

The Iranians hardly posed a problem in the second half as the Americans outscored them 60-36 in the last two salvos en route to the 54-point romp.

Booker backstopped Lillard with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, Tatum had 14 points and 4 rebounds, while LaVine chimed in 13 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds in the win.

Durant and Middleton churned out 10 points each for Team USA, which is seeking a top-two finish in Group A for an outright quarterfinals berth.

Former NBA big man Hamed Haddadi led Iran in its second straight loss with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Mohammad Jamshidi also put up 14 points to go with 3 assists.

Team USA seeks to clinch its quarterfinals spot with a win against Czech Republic on Sunday, July 31.

The Scores

USA 120 – Lillard 21, Booker 16, Tatum 14, LaVine 13, Durant 10, Middleton 10, McGee 9, Holiday 8, Adebayo 6, Green 5, Johnson 4, Grand 4.

Iran 66 – Haddadi 14, Jamshidi 14, Rezaeifar 13, Davarpanah 8, Yakhchali 6, Kazemi 5, Hassanzadeh 4, Bahrami 2, Vahedi 0, Jalalpoor 0, Rostampour 0, Geramipoor 0. 

Quarters: 28-12, 60-30, 82-43, 120-66. 


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.