Team USA men's basketball didn't get off to the start they wanted against France, but they bounced back in a big way Wednesday against Iran to earn their first preliminary victory of the Tokyo Olympics by a score of 120-66.
Iran opened the scoring with a two-point shot 22 seconds into the game, but their lead was brief. The Americans had the offense firing on all cylinders early Wednesday morning, scoring 60 points in the first half alone. Damian Lillard was particularly hot to start the contest, hitting six of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc for a total of 18 points through the game's first 20 minutes.
Lillard finished seven of 15 from the field for 21 points with two rebounds and five assists.
This contest also nearly served as a pivotal moment in Kevin Durant's Olympic career. At tip-off, 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 2016. However, Durant finished the game with only 10 points, falling just shy of the Olympic milestone.
Durant's next chance to surpass Carmelo's Olympic scoring record will come Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET when the U.S. men take on the Czech Republic.
In other basketball news, the Czech Republic fell to France in their Group A tilt. After a hard-fought first half from both teams, France pulled away in the second half and ended up pulling out the 97-77 victory.
Australia went down to the wire with Italy in their Group B preliminary contest. Despite a strong game from Nico Mannion, the Italians fell to Australia by a score of 86-83.