The men's basketball tournament is well underway with teams having played three of their five games in the group stage. Three days of games in, the tournament is starting to take shape.
The United States is the clear favorite for the gold medal with Spain as their most likely opponent and silver medal contender. Outside of the top two teams is where things get interesting. Argentina, France, Brazil and Russia are all likely competing for a spot in the bronze medal.
A dominating third quarter sparked France to a victory against Lithuania. The win was France's second straight after losing to the United States in the first game. Lithuania now has two losses after losing to Argentina and beating Nigeria.
A 10-3 run at the end of the third quarter gave France the separation they needed to hold on. Tony Parker capped the run with 17 seconds left in the quarter with a three. Parker was very strong again for the French team with a game-high 27 points. Nicolas Batum also had a strong performance with 21 points on eight for eleven shooting.
Australia won its first game of the tournament as they handed China its third straight loss. With eight minutes remaining in the second quarter, Yi Jianlian hit a jumper to tie the game at 27-27. From that point, Australian went on a 17-3 run to go up 44-30. The Boomers never looked back.
It was a complete team effort for Australia as Patty Mills dropped in 20 points and Joe Ingles neared a triple double with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. After leading China in games one and two, Yi struggled on two for seven shooting and finished with 13 points. Wang Shipeng hit seven threes on his way to 21 points for China.
Another heavily favored opponent for Tunisia and another solid performance early on, Tunisia jumped all over Argentina and took a 28-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Manu Ginobili rallied the troops for Argentina and fought back to tie the game 40-40 at halftime. Argentina went on to outscore Tunisia 52-29 in the second half.
Ginobili led Argentina with 24 points on nine for 12 shooting and hitting all four three-point attempts. Carlos Delfino added 21 points, and Luis Scola scored 20 points. Salah Mejri led Tunisia with 19 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks.
In what was the game of the tournament so far, Russia hit a three-pointer with four seconds left to remain unbeaten. Russia led for much of the game, but Brazil battled back and took a five point lead late in the fourth quarter. After Russia tied the game, Marcelinho Huertas scored on a lineup with nine seconds left to give Brazil a 74-72 lead. A quick catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the corner for Vitaly Fridzon won the game for Russia.
Andrei Kirilenko was the star of the show once again for Russia, scoring 19 points on five of nine shooting. A surprising performance off the bench for Timofey Mozgov fueled Russia as the big man scored 18 points on eight for nine shooting.
In another thrilling game, Spain outlasted Great Britain to stay unbeaten in the tournament. Spain took a 12 point lead into the fourth quarter, but Great Britain used a great fourth to comeback. They got close with a flurry of late threes, but after pulling within one at 79-78 on a Luol Deng three, Great Britain was unable to catch Spain to foul and the clock ran out.
Playing without Juan Carlos Navarro, Spain got a big contribution from Jose Calderon who lead the team with 19 points. The Gasol brothers also played well with Pau scoring 17 and Marc 12. Deng was huge for Great Britain with 26 points, but they took 20 shots to get there. Joel Freeland added 25 points, but also took a large number of shots with 19.
The United States made up for playing poorly early on against Tunisia by pouring it on Nigeria for 40 minutes, and Team USA got out to a 13-0 lead before Nigeria got on the scoreboard with two free throws. Nigeria played relatively well in the second quarter as the United States won the quarter 29-20. The 83-point margin of victory was the largest for Team USA in Olympic history.
Carmelo Anthony dropped 37 points, the most by a US player in the Olympics, and 10 of 12 shooting from three-point range. He only played for 14 minutes. Team USA hit 29 of 46 three-pointers in the game. Former NBA player Ike Diogu played well against the US, scoring 27 points and grabbing seven rebounds.