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August 7, 2012

Team USA routs Argentina before quarterfinals

Not even the Argentinean squad was able to get Team USA into any real trouble. The Gold medal is just waiting for them at the end of the games.  

By Stephen Lars

Most Argentineans, or at least those who are not to keen to the NBA, had really never heard much about Kevin Durant. For most of the Argentineans fans watching their national team play in the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Kevin Durant was not a name they were too familiar with. He hasn’t reached yet the international appeal of one LeBron James, one could say, and he is miles away from reaching the stardom level of Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. Well, even for the majority of the soccer-loving Argentinean fans, Kevin Durant is now a name they are well aware of. As it was the NBA’s 2012 scoring champion and the regular season MVP who guided Team USA to a 126-97 win over Argentina on Monday. It was a close fight up until the halftime break. After a while, the Argentinean defense was just unable to keep up with the talented long distance shooters of Team USA, and what was a close 1-point game in the first half, was blown out of proportion by the first five minutes of play in the third quarter.

Kevin Durant is now a name they are well aware of.

It seems now that the secret to stay competitive against Team USA in the London Olympics is to survive the third quarter. I’m not sure what goes on inside the lockers during halftime but head coach Mike Krzyzewski sure enough get’s his guys going and they just let hell lose on their opponent. Durant kept on throwing down three pointers, one after another and the gap simply opened up. Argentina relied heavily on their defensive game to win games. And they managed to stay close, but when the Argentineans were successful at defending the lane, it was a whole different story when it came to perimeter shooting. And that’s where Durant made a huge difference after the break. He scored 17 of his 28 points in the third to lead Team USA to a 42-point third quarter. As a matter of fact, Kevin Durant was such a dominant force that he singlehandedly outscored the whole Argentinean team in that quarter.

This was an overall good game by Team USA. LeBron James added 18 points, including the Dream Team’s first seven points of the third quarter. Chris Paul finished with 17. For a moment there, it looked as if it was going to be a much closer matchup. To be sincere, we were expecting a little more from the Argentinean side. They played a fine game, but they didn’t hold a chance against Durant shooting like he was. Manu Ginobili, who plays professionally for the San Antonio Spurs, guided the Argentineans. He scored 16 points for Argentina (3-2). Team USA has insisted over and over that their defense is their biggest strength. And yet, the 2012 dream team allowed Argentina to make 11 of its first 15 shots, falling behind 30-29 when Gutierrez made a 3-pointer with 1:03 left in the first quarter. That was as close as it was going to get for Argentina, who is now going to have to play Brazil in the quarterfinals. Team USA, on the other hand, will face the Australians.

About the Author

Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.