The U.S. led by just one at halftime 60-59 as Argentina was doing a lot of what Lithuania did to the U.S. in the first half.
Manu Ginobili was on a tear scoring 16 points on just five shots as Argentina shot 56 percent from the field.
In the third quarter, Team USA came out a different team especially on the defensive side of the ball. LeBron James had a look in his eye scoring nine quick points then Kevin Durant took over.
Durant hit five threes in the third quarter and scored 17 points as the U.S. outscored Argentina 42-17 as a team. Durant capped off his memorable third quarter performance with a three from about 32-feet that was very reminiscent of Rucker Park.
Team USA again looked vulnerable at times but when they turned it on in the second half they showed why they are the team to beat in these Olympics.
Here are the grades:
LeBron James – 21 minutes, 18 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds – A
LeBron was quiet in the first half as not a lot of the offense was running through him but he really asserted himself in the third quarter. He has taken over when he has needed to for this team in these Olympics and did it again today. He had to sit though midway through the third after picking up his fourth foul. He got called on a few really bad fouls in the game.
Kevin Durant – 22 minutes, 28 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals – A
Durant was magnificent in the third quarter not only by hitting five treys but on the defensive end he was as active as he ever has been. That led to a lot of Team USA’s offense as they pulled away. Durant wasn’t too bad in the first half either scoring 11 points and hitting three 3-pointers. Durant’s shooting performance in the third quarter may have been more impressive than what Carmelo Anthony did vs. Nigeria.
Carmelo Anthony – 13 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds – C
Anthony didn’t have it tonight going just 1-for-6 from the field but his one make was a big three to end the third. He got a little cheap shot from Argentina point guard Campazzo after making the trey he was hit below the belt and it started a little scrum between the two teams.
Kobe Bryant – 21 minutes, 11 points, 1 assist – C-
Kobe just seems to not fit in much with this team. He randomly started pushing the ball down the court out of control twice in the third quarter and it just felt weird. He shot 3-of-10 in the game and is still struggling with the different ball it seems. The fact that he’s probably going to be on the court in crunch time of a close game may not be a good thing for Team USA going forward.
Chris Paul – 25 minutes, 17 points, 6 assists, 3 steals – A
Paul was great in the first half hitting four threes and did his job pretty much perfectly the rest of the game too. You can’t hardly ever complain about Paul and when he is making threes he is just that much better. He really hounded Campazzo on defense too who had to play most of the game with Prigionni missing the game with an injury.
Deron Williams – 15 minutes, 5 points, 3 assists – C
Nothing special from Williams tonight as he was 2-for-7 from the field. Paul played much better and got the bulk of the minutes. Team USA will need Williams to step up and shoot better from three as the games continue.
Russell Westbrook – 19 minutes, 4 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds – B-
He would receive a C grade if not for his nasty dunk in the fourth quarter. Westbrook was out of control for the most part again going 1-for-8 from the field but his dunk was such a perfect exclamation mark on the game. His defense against Argentina’s weak guards was pretty good too.
Kevin Love – 15 minutes, 13 points, 9 rebounds – B+
Love quietly had a very nice game for Team USA going 5-for-7 from the field and grabbing four offensive boards as well. His confidence has grown of late and he is becoming a more integral part of this team which is good with Tyson Chandler not playing all that well.
Tyson Chandler – 12 minutes, 3 points, 5 rebounds – B
Chandler wasn’t as bad as he has been lately in this one and was the only real defensive presence for Team USA in the first half. The defense Team USA played in the second half showed why they won’t need to rely on Chandler to play a lot of minutes in the future. Chandler was in foul trouble again though and mostly takes up space on offense.
Andre Iguodala – 20 minutes, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists – A
Iguodala played his role perfectly today. He got some scoring on not a lot of shots, always made the right pass and rebounded. When he plays like this he will get minutes and deservedly so.
James Harden – 9 minutes, 7 points – C+
Harden didn’t play until garbage time in this one and was fine while he was out there. He hit 1-of-2 threes and went 3-for-5 from the field.
Anthony Davis – 8 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block – C+
Davis also didn’t play until garbage time and had less alley-oop dunks than usual.
Topics: 2012 Olympics, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Davis, Argentina, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball