Basketball: Team USA crush Iran

Damian Lillard of USA

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard of USA sizzling hot against Iran
Damian Lillard of USA sizzling hot against Iran

Team USA got back on track in their quest for a fourth consecutive men’s basketball gold medal on Wednesday with a 54 point blowout win against Iran.

The victory was buoyed by a barrage of three pointers, with the Americans putting their shock loss to France behind them.

Guard Damian Lillard was sizzling hot to begin the game as he hit six threes in the first half, helping the United States shoot 63% from beyond the arc as they built a commanding 60-30 lead and came away with a 120-66 victory.

Lillard, who plays for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, finished with a game high 21 points, with the United States ending up with 19 threes for the game.

The dominant win will allay concerns about their medal credentials in Tokyo after they suffered a shock defeat by France on Sunday, losing at the Olympics for the first time since 2004 and for just the sixth time in the history of the tournament. read more

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But they righted the ship on Wednesday.

Stout defense and sweet shooting catapulted them to victory, as they forced turnovers and held Iran’s best player, guard Behnam Yakhchalidehkordi, to only six points, a far cry from his sensational performance from his team’s first game when he had a game high 23 points.

Iran were again their own worst enemy, sloppy with the ball and committing 23 turnovers that resulted in 37 U.S. points.

The United States next play against the Czech Republic on Saturday, while Iran face France on the same day.