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Damian Lillard Leads Team USA to Blowout Win over Iran

Lillard scores 21 points and the U.S. men’s basketball team easily handled overmatched Iran in its second Group A game Wednesday, winning 120-66 at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

Iran opened the scoring with a two-point shot 22 seconds into the game, but their lead was brief. Team USA lead 28-12 after one quarter and scored 60 points in the first half alone.

It looked like the Team USA teams of old, overmatching opponents with transition dunks and knockdown threes. They immediately looked to push the pace, and utilized crisp, decisive ball movement to generate quality looks. The U.S. made 19 3-pointers and 23 of its 37 shots (62%) inside the arc.

Defensively, Team USA brought just as much pressure. They forced 23 turnovers, including 10 steals, and also registered 11 blocks for the game. While Iran looked to establish their post game early with Haddadi—who had 15 points—they settled for threes down the stretch.

Lillard finished seven of 15 from the field for 21 points with two rebounds and five assists. Devin Booker had 16 and Jayson Tatum finished with 14.

Durant was just 15 points shy of the U.S. men’s basketball all-time Olympic scoring record (336 points), set by Carmelo Anthony in his four appearances. Durant finished the game with only 10 points, falling just shy of the Olympic milestone.

The U.S. plays the Czech Republic on Saturday to close pool play, with a victory guaranteeing the Americans a spot in the single-elimination quarterfinals.

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