By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
Team USA went ballistic in the third quarter after Argentina played the Americans especially tough in the first half of their final pool A game, thus opening up a huge lead en route to a 126-97 victory.
The lead was just 60-59 as both teams went back to the locker rooms at halftime, however, a 42-17 outbreak by Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad in the third period ruined any chance at Argentina trying to stay in the game. LeBron James and Kevin Durant carried the torch for the USA in the second half, as James scored the first seven points in the third quarter for the United States, and Kevin Durant just kept raining threes from beyond the arc. Durant scored 17 points in the third quarter (including 5-of-6 from range) and led all scorers with 28 in the game. James chipped in with 18 points and 5 assists.
Of course, the two biggest plays of the third quarter had nothing to do with Kevin Durant and LeBron James, but rather a nut punch and an emphatic slam dunk.
Late in the third quarter, with the U.S. completing their onslaught on the Argentinians, Carmelo Anthony did something he’d been doing all tournament, raising up for a three-point shot. Unfortunately, someone wasn’t happy with the offensive attack that was being rained down the South American squad, and Facundo Campazzo evidently had enough of it.
Carmelo Anthony got punched in the….yeah, those.
Per the AP, Kobe Bryant wasn’t pleased and went and talked to Campazzo about it.
“It was inappropriate. I said, ‘you don’t do that’ and he said, ‘I know.’ He knows he’s wrong. That was uncalled for and I let him know. To his credit, he acknowledged it. He said, ‘My fault, I know.’ And that was it.” — Kobe Bryant
After the game, Carmelo Anthony responded to the altercation (via the NY Daily News): “Carmelo joked that he ‘just fell down’ but later told me ‘it was a cheap shot but we move on.’”
Russell Westbrook went Russell Westbrook on Argentina
I’ve been waiting for the entire Olympics for Russell Westbrook to try and dunk on someone. I knew that the chances would be limited due to his role off the bench, but I had my fingers crossed that this moment would occur. You know, where the seas would part, Russ would have the ball, and some unsuspecting sap would be a sacrificial lamb for Westbrook’s meeting at the rim.
And then it happened.
Here’s the funny thing. I wasn’t even in front of my television when it happened. All I know is that my twitter exploded with mentions stating that Westbrook just went ape on the rim, per usual.
It was a glorious moment indeed, even if I couldn’t watch it live. The #0appreciation was spreading.
The United States will move on, as they finish pool play with a 5-0 record, thus winning Group B. Next up for the Americans will be Australia in the quarterfinal round. Will the chippyness ramp up for the United States? Nothing else has worked thus far for the opposing teams, so lets see if the United States can keep their cool and hope that no one gets hurt.