USA Win Big Against Team GB in Olympic Warm-Up Game July 19, 2012 21:10
It's a day that UK basketball fans have been waiting a long time for. The top stars from the NBA making the trip to the UK as Team USA, to take on our homegrown Team GB. The Manchester Arena was host to a sold out crowd of 17,000 basketball fans, all eager to see some serious action from the NBA stars, but also to gauge just how far along Team GB have come in their preparation for the London 2012 Olympics.
The odds were against Team GB, but the support for this team has been amazing, and they worked had and did themselves proud tonight.
GB did well throughout the first quarter to put pressure on Team USA and worked hard to keep the score relatively close, but USA ran out in the last couple of minutes with a couple of three's from Carmelo Anthony and some nice fast breaks from the likes of Westbrook and Durant. The first ended 33 - 20 to the USA.
The USA continued to pull away in the first part of the second quarter, but also had a few players, like James Harden, getting into foul trouble early on. A brief fight back from Team GB brought the difference back to 9 points with just over 5 mins to go. GB struggled to take care of the basketball throughout the game (14 turnovers by the first half,12 of those were steals by the US) and that really gave the US team a boost as they were able to take off and gain some impressive fast break points with dunks from Durant, Harden and LeBron. That said, GB stayed within 20 points of the USA, the score being 55 - 37 at the half.
Going into the third, Luol Deng led all scorers with 17 points - definitely a positive for Team GB - but Deron Williams started to chase that stat line down but putting up 4 three pointers in quick succession, to take him to 19 points, with over 5 minutes left in the quarter. Team GB were still fighting hard with moves like the Joel Freeland dunk on Tyson Chandler, much to the delight of GB supporters in the arena. However, the USA were still unstoppable, as much as GB tried. Archibald fouled out with a minute and a half left of the 3rd as the USA stretched their lead to 84 - 52. The quarter finished 89 - 55 to the US.
Deng was again leading all scorers at the start of the 4th, with 20, but the US continued their onslaught, passing the 100 points mark with 6 minutes left to play, which included 2 flash dunks from NBA, and Team USA newcomer, Anthony Davis. GB languished behind, around the 60 point mark, at which point Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Luol Deng took a seat on the bench.
Andrew Sullivan came on for the first time in the 4th, pulling out back to back three's, but the USA weren't phased. Davis looked particularly impressive with a series of awesome dunks, to go with 4 blocks.
The game ended 118 - 78 to Team USA.
It was great to be able to see Team USA playing on British soil, and despite a 40 point loss, Team GB should take a great deal of positives from this experience, and it should help them in their final preparations for the Olympics, which are just 8 days away.