Olympics: Damian Lillard leads Team USA to basketball blowout over Iran

Olympics: Damian Lillard leads Team USA to basketball blowout over Iran
UPI

July 28 (UPI) — Damian Lillard scored a game-high 21 points to lead Team USA to a 54-point blowout of Iran in the preliminary round of the 2020 Summer Games men’s basketball tournament Wednesday in Saitama, Japan.

The blowout followed Team USA’s first Olympic men’s basketball loss since 2004 on Sunday in Saitama. Team USA shot 55% from the floor and 49% from 3-point range in Wednesday’s win. The Americans totaled 34 assists with just six turnovers.

Team USA scored 37 points off Iran’s 23 turnovers and got 57 points from the bench.

Iran led three times through the first 4 minutes. Team USA then took the advantage with 7:48 to go in the first quarter and never looked back. The Americans used a 12-2 run to take control.

Team USA ended the quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 28-12 edge into the second. Iran trailed 60-30 at halftime. Team USA outscored Iran 22-13 in the third.

The Americans went on a 19-0 run in the fourth and led by 57 with 1:43 to go.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker scored 16 points with five rebounds and three steals in the win. Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum scored 14 points off the bench. Zach LaVine chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds in the win.

Iran’s Hamed Haddadi and Mohammad Jamshidi scored 14 points apiece in the loss.

Team USA battles the Czech Republic in another group stage game Saturday in Saitama. The game airs at 8 a.m. EDT Saturday on NBC. The men’s basketball quarterfinals start Tuesday in Saitama.

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