Olympic Basketball 2012: Kobe Bryant Sets Tone In Team USA Rout Of Nigeria


Sometimes the final score reveals nothing at all of how a game unfolded. Other times it says everything. Team USA’s demolition of Nigeria in the 2012 Olympic Games is the latter.


Let that soak in for a minute. Better yet, try wrapping your head around how a team can score an Olympic record 156 points in a 40 minute contest.

Team USA finally showed all their dominance and while Carmelo Anthony will get the glory thanks to his team record 37 points on 10 triples, it was one Kobe Bryant that set the tone for this commanding performance.

For the most part Bryant has been dormant during the Olympic Games in London. That all changed in the first 10 minutes tonight as Mamba struck for 14 of his 16 points in the first quarter. Kobe killed it by jumping on Nigeria scoring 7 straight as the U.S. raced out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back. That helped establish Team USA’s overwhelming dominance.

Bryant’s outburst was part of an astounding 49-point first quarter that ended this contest before it started.

And just to make sure there was no revisit of badmintongate the Red, White and Blue kept pouring it on as Olympic hoops records fell like Lolo Jones in Beijing.

Melo’s 37-point explosion in just 15 minutes of burn was just the tip of the iceberg. Five other members of Team USA hit double digits as a team USA shot a sick 63% from beyond the arc making 29 total triples. That was another Olympic record so too was the 83-point margin of victory.

Not that the world needed to be reminded who the favorites are to take gold but this was a wake up call if there ever was one for anyone that might have been sleeping.

Up next for Team USA is Lithuania on Saturday. Currently the U.S. stands alone atop Group A with France and Argentina tied for second. Hard to imagine any team challenging Team USA especially after seeing Pau Gasol and Spain struggle to defeat Great Britain today.