RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - The USA cleared their first major hurdle at the Olympics by beating Australia, 98-88, in a lively Carioca Arena 1.
After brushing aside China and Venezuela, the Americans encountered an unbeaten and very confident Australia team that led 54-49 at half-time with Pat Mills and Andrew Bogut scoring 14 points.
Turning Point: The USA returned to the floor for the second half and went on a 9-0 run that put them in front. Australia managed to reclaim the lead and were ahead in the fourth quarter before Anthony connected on two three-pointers in the space of 26 seconds, the second which gave the USA a 78-74 lead.
Stats Don't Lie: The USA shot 17 of 39 (44 percent) from beyond the arc and Anthony was an eye-popping 9-of-15. The four-time Olympian finished with a game-high 31 points. Matthew Dellavedova showed his quality for the Boomers with 11 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds.
Hero: Anthony not only had a game-high 31 points but was diving on the floor for loose balls and leading by example. On the night, he also passed David Robinson and then LeBron James to become the USA's all-time leading scorer.
Bottom Line: The USA are a great team and had to show some grit to beat an Australia team that is much better than most people anticipated. Both teams look like they have a great shot of ending up on the podium, although there is a lot of basketball still to be played.