Beware the 160m men: US rip Nigeria apart with largest Olympic basketball score EVER
05:27 GMT, 3 August 2012
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The United States scored an Olympic record 156 points as they routed the thoroughly overwhelmed Nigeria to remain unbeaten at the London Games.
The record fell when Andre Igoudala hit a three-point shot with 4:27 minutes left in the game to make it 139-68, surpassing the previous record of 138 scored by Brazil against Egypt in 1988.
The Americans scored 78 points in the first half alone, beating the previous Olympic record of 72 – which was set by that same Brazil team against China in the Seoul Games.
Going up: Lebron James (left) makes one of his man dunks
Star player: Russell Westbrook goes in for a dunk during the game, which helped quash any misgivings about the Americans' performance in their prior two games
Several records had tumbled by the end.
Carmelo Anthony had 37 points,
breaking Stephon Marbury's record of 31 for an American player in an
Olympic Games, and he managed all that while playing less than half the
game, as he was on the court for just 14 and a half minutes.
Anthony also set new records for the number of three-pointers made, with 10, and attempted, with 12.
That'll do: America's stars celebrate
Their winning margin of 83 points beat
their previous best of 72 against Thailand, a 101-29 win in 1956,
although they fell shy of the biggest win in Olympic history – and even
in London's Olympic history as two games in 1948 finished with 100
points the difference.
Kobe Bryant had 16 points despite joining LeBron James – who had six – on the bench for the entire second half.
Russell Westbrook poured in 21, Kevin Love collected 15, Kevin Durant 14 and Deron Williams 13.
Victory: The Americans, led by star Kobe Bryant, smashed the previous record by winning with an 83-point margin of victory
Fun: James (left) and Bryant (right) enjoyed the night
The United States had 49 points by the end of the first quarter and reached triple figures midway through the third.
In total, they made 59-of-83 shots from the field, including 29-of-46 from three-point range.
'We just shot better than any team in
the game that I've ever coached,' said United States coach Mike
Krzyzewski, who coached the Americans to gold in Beijing and was an
assistant on the 1992 Dream Team staff.
'Our guys just couldn't miss tonight. Whenever you hit 29 three-pointers, it's very difficult to lose in a game like that.'
Anthony finished one point shy of the
all-time American scoring record in a single game – the mark of 38 set
by Durant at the 2010 FIBA World Championship – but insisted he had no
problem being taken out of the game so early.
'Tonight was just one of those nights, as a unit we had it going,' the New York Knicks star said.
'It could have been anybody out there
on the court playing against us. When we shoot like that, the
percentages are just incredible, and everybody, one through 12,
Smiling till the end: Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, breaking the U.S. single-game scoring record
Breakout star: Though Anthony is known for his skills in the NBA, his performance helped give him a greater international presence
Nigeria coach Ayodele Bakare was in
good humour after the game, pointing out defensive mistakes his team
made and then adding with a chuckle: 'Otherwise we could have won the
But he did admit he was not quite sure what to say to his players as they prepare to face Argentina next.
'My mind is still stunned,' he said. 'I counted, how many, 45 different records
'We have the dubious distinction of
being part of those records. It's tough to motivate players after this
because we didn't expect this sort of result.'
The United States bench players –
including by then Bryant, James and Anthony – had stood and
congratulated each other when the world record was announced in the
arena, but that did not stop more points coming over the remaining four
and a half minutes.
Happy hands: The players appeared pleased with themselves throughout the game
However, Krzyzewski took offence to the notion that his players had tried to humiliate Nigeria by piling on the pain.
'The first thing we did was not play LeBron and Kobe in the second half,' Krzyzewski said.
'Even with Carmelo shooting like that, we benched him.
'We didn't play Durant, we didn't take
any fast breaks in the fourth quarter. But you have to take a shot ever
24 seconds, and every shot we hit.
'I take offence at the suggestion.
There is no way our program is out to do that. I think coach (Bakare)
would be humiliated if we didn't play hard.'