LONDON — Giving a (nearly) play-by-play game blog from the U.S. vs. Nigeria showdown.
— FOURTH QUARTER —
1:32: Love takes two steps back and drains another one. I’m done. 153-71.
1:59: We take it all back. Love drains a 3-pointer, the 28th of the night.
2:29: Thank you, Love makes a layup. No more 3s. It’s inhumane. 147-68.
3:08: Deron Williams gets in on the 3-point fun. 145-68.
3:52: PA announcer just called Harden “Jake Hardiman” … no one here knows what in the world he’s talking about.
4:32: Iguodala makes history with that last 3-pointer. The highest scoring total in Olympic basketball history.
6:18: Davis finishes a reverse oop after a no-look pass from CP3. This is like the Globetrotters waxing the Nigerian Generals right now. They’re just toying with these men. This is bordering on cruel.
6:47: Barake takes a timeout after CP3 threads a pass in the lane to Davis who finishes with a one-handed jam. 132-64. This game will do nothing for diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Nigeria. “So, did you really have to beat up on us like that?”
7:11: Iguodala pops again from the exact same spot. Preposterous.
7:42: Iguodala nails a 3-pointer of his own. Everybody but Davis and Chandler want in on this! 127-64.
8:14: Davis whimps out and shoots a baseline jumper.
— THIRD QUARTER —
5.7: Westbrook tosses what looks like an alley-oop to Love who then throws it back up for a charging Wetbrook who crams it home for a 119-62 U.S. lead. They were college roommates at UCLA, so maybe they have some synergery working there.
2:46: Kobe said LeBron and Melo are the biggest cut ups on this U.S. team and it shows on the bench right now. LeBron is chair dancing to Michael Jackson right now and cracking everyone on the bench up. This is better than practice for the U.S.
3:21: Westbrook’s 3-pointer gives the U.S. 20 for the night. They are a wicked 20-for-30.
3:52: Did anybody even notice that the U.S. is ahead 103-56 with 3:45 to play in the quarter.
4:58: Wow. Another one. Not even sure how to explain this. 10-for-12 from deep for Melo. He goes to the bench with 37. He leaves the game with every U.S. Olympic 3-point shooting mark in his war chest. Not bad for a guy who gets ridiculed non-stop for all of the things he doesn’t do in the NBA.
5:26: NOT ANOTHER ONE! Just so we a clear, Melo has the most points scored by a U.S. player in an Olympic game (34), most 3-pointers and most attempted (9-for-11). This is bonkers! People are beside themselves in here watching this. Melo is a 6-8, 240-pound forward shooting the cover off of the ball right now.
6:01: Melo is just showing out now. Another pull-up 3 and he flashes the three fingers to the bench. This man is absolutely feeling it. He’s 8-for-10 from deep.
6:38: Another one from Melo. He’s got 28 poitns now.
7:04: Whatever the record is for 3-pointers made in an
8:31: Said it before and I’ll say it again, Durant has the coldest handle for a dude his size that I can remember. He shook a defender with a nasty crossover and drove the lane for a sweet drop off to Melo for a layup. 82-50.
9:23: Kobe has ice on his left knee. Not sure if he’s done already. Can’t imagine they will need him anymore tonight.
9:45: Davis, Andre Iguodala, Melo, CP3 and Durant start the second half for the U.S. and Davis catches an oop for a dunk two seconds in. Here we go! 80-45.
— HALFTIME —
The U.S. was shooting a spectacular 79 percent from deep at one point but fell off sharply by halftime, shooting just 58 percent (14-for-24) from beyond the 3-point line. Assuming Coach K let them have it halftime and we’ll see a different team here in the second half.
— SECOND QUARTER —
0.0: This has to be what the original Dream Team beating up on Angola felt like 20 years ago. 78-45 the U.S. leads … at halftime!
1:08: Nigeria point guard Tony Skinn crosses Harden over, causing Harden to do the splits, and drains the step back 3-pointer to cut the U.S. lead to just 34 points heading into the final minute of the quarter.
1:34: Deron Williams gets in on the 3-point fun with one of his own. 78-41.
1:55: Melo finally gets another 3-pointer to drop. Finally,
2:50: The Anthony Davis chants haven’t started yet but we’re expecting them to any second now.
3:19: Durant with the fast break oop toss to James Harden, who finishes and hangs on the rim for good measure. 70-36.
3:49: Diogu goes to the bench with 15 points, three fouls and his team trailing 68-36. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
5:21: Diogu shows LeBron what push ups for you when picks up an offensive foul for flicking little
5:56: Kobe with the baseline jumper from behind the basket with a hand in his face. German reporter next to me starts shaking his head after the shot. “This is unbelievable.” I didn’t want to ruin it for him, but I had to tell the truth. “It happens all the time in the NBA. Really. All of the time.” I feel like Scrooge right now.
6:24: Tyson Chandler goes up top to finish an oop from LeBron. 62-32.
7:42: This is the U.S. 3-point shooting contest at practice. They miss three on one possession before Durant drains another one from the corner right in front of Nigeria’s bench. The score is 60-32. The Nigerian fans have been Tweeting all day about their tough team’s tough talk the other day getting them in trouble tonight. Not their fault. The U.S was due for this sort of game.
8:25: Second unit goes cold, misses a few shots, so Coach K. inserts the first five into the game with Nigeria chasing (down 53-32 now).
9:48: Melo misses a 3, finally, his first miss in five quarters.
— FIRST QUARTER —
44.5: Another deep 3 from Melo. 11-for-14. Folks the U.S. is shooting 79 percent from deep and has scored 49 points and lead by 24. This is the whoopin’ they were planning to put on Tunisia and never did. Carmelo just came into the game and already has 12 points in all of about four minutes. Crazy.
1:09: Melo just making it look too easy right now. Another 3 goes down. Nigeria is actually fighting back. But they’re still down 24 points.
1:48: Kevin Love gets his 3-pointer on. The U.S. is 9-for-12 and feeling it. 41-16.
2:06: Melo with another deep 3-pointer. 38-15 lead for the U.S. No messing around tonight.
2:52: Diogu with another strong move inside. He’s got 11 already. This is a pride game for the former Arizona State
3:34: Second unit comes in with a cushy 14-point lead this time and Carmelo Anthony immediately makes it 17 with a corner 3-pointer of his own. 30-11.
4:19: Kobe with the fast break dunk, a little double-pump action. 25-10 and Kobe makes it clear that he’s going to get his buckets before Coach K starts playing with the rotation tonight. He takes a seat on the bench with 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
4:36: Kobe with another 3-pointer and a pat on the fanny for Barake. It’s play time for Kobe already.
5:04: That’s three straight buckets for Diogu.
5:23: Durant wtih another 3-pointer, 20-6.
5:55: Kobe is feeling it right now, his turnaround jumper makes it 17-4.
6:27: LeBron drives the lane for a wicked dunk and a 15-2 lead.
7:17: Sweet ball rotation from Kobe to LeBron to Durant for another 3-pointer from Durant. 13-0 just like that. The suspense ends quickly in this one. Nigeria’s coach Ayodele Barake would like to thank Brazil and Russia and Great Britain and Spain for scaring the U.S. straight and making sure his team didn’t get a chance to enjoy this experience as much as they might have liked.
7:59: Kobe lines up another jumper. He’s locked in today. No doubt about it.
8:41: Kobe sinks a 3-pointer to go with his two free throws. 8-0 U.S lead just like that. No signs of that sluggish start that plagued them against Tunisia.
9:52: Durant wastes no time lining up a corner 3. Let the game begin!