Team USA led 47-40 at halftime after Manu Ginobili hit a three to end the first half. Ginobili came out strong from the start but slowed down late, finishing with 18 points in the game.
The U.S. shot 53.1 percent from the field and made 18-of-42 threes. They pulled away from Argentina again much like their last meeting with a big third quarter led by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Spain beat Russia in their semifinal earlier today and hasn’t looked great so far in these Olympics but still should be considered the toughest test yet for Team USA.
Here are grades for the U.S. players:
LeBron James – 29 minutes, 18 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds – A
LeBron played another brilliant game doing a little bit of everything. Coming off the first triple-double in U.S. Olympic history in the quarterfinals vs. Australia, LeBron flirted with another one today. He went 8-of-12 from the field and was excellent finding open shooters all game long.
Kevin Durant – 27 minutes, 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks – B+
Durant led the U.S. in scoring thanks to his five 3-pointers, four of which came in the third quarter. Durant was better again with his interior defense and picked up a few blocks. He really didn’t look to be shooting well early in the game before getting a few to go down in a row in the third.
Carmelo Anthony – 22 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists – B+
It was Anthony’s turn to put on the 3-point show in the second half of this game. He hit a few in a row and then a really deep one reminiscent of Durant’s the last time Team USA played Argentina. He made a few nice extra passes that he normally doesn’t which resulted in a little more balanced of a game in this one.
Kobe Bryant – 19 minutes, 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals – B+
Kobe did his work at the beginning of this game after doing it in the second half of the last one. He came out hot making three 3-pointers in the first half and was pretty quiet after that. You know Kobe is going to take shots no matter what. He’s good when they’re going down but has been terrible when they’re not.
Chris Paul – 26 minutes, 10 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds – A
Paul just plays so good every game. He went 2-of-3 from deep and that’s just gravy with him. He had a pretty high assist total too as he always makes the smart play.
Deron Williams – 20 minutes, 6 points, 6 assists – B
Williams only shot 2-of-7 from deep which puts him well below Team USA’s average shooting percentage on threes. Coach K tried to use him more as Argentina played a lot of zone and Williams didn’t do anything special. The six assists were nice though.
Russell Westbrook – 9 minutes, 7 points, 1 turnover – B
Westbrook played with good energy again and was a little more under control in this one. All three of his baskets were nice. The first came on a good drive in the first half. Then he hit a three in the second half and got one of his patented pull-up jumpers to go down too. He came up lame with what appeared to be a leg injury late in the fourth. It didn’t look too serious and for a guy who has never missed a basketball game in his life, it’s hard to get worried.
Kevin Love – 16 minutes, 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block – A
Love was very big today especially with his work on the glass getting four offensive rebounds. As Team USA continued to shoot the three when seeing zone, Love was there to help get them second shot opportunities whenever he was in. He was 0-for-2 shooting the three himself but his impact was hard not to notice.
Tyson Chandler – 12 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds – B
Chandler didn’t play much again but did just fine while he was out there. He had a nice slam in the second half from a Paul feed and was his usual solid self on defense. Picked up three fouls though.
Andre Iguodala – 11 minutes, 2 points, 1 assist – B
Iguodala found out last night he was being traded to the Denver Nuggets so maybe he felt a little weird for the game. He played fine while he was out there though and had a nice highlight reel alley-oop finish from Paul late in the game.
James Harden – 5 minutes, 3 points, 1 steal – B
I could have sworn Harden hit two threes in this game. One of them rolled around the rim some and may have been credited to Love for a tip-in. His shot looked good and he even had a nice block in transition from behind on a player.
Anthony Davis – 4 minutes, 1 rebound – C
Just very little garbage time for Davis again and he didn’t touch the ball.
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, Spain, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball