Members of the U.S. men’s basketball team admitted they may have been a bit too unselfish when they first started playing together. That wasn’t a problem for a certain All-Star guard when the Americans blew out Iran this week.
Damian Lillard scored 21 points in Team USA’s 120-66 group-play win, hitting seven of his 13 3-point field goal attempts. It turns out a little pep talk from Draymond Green sparked Lillard’s big performance.
“Draymond was just like, ‘Damian Lillard doesn’t hesitate to shoot a ball, especially at the end of the game,'” Lillard said. “You know I had a turnover at the end of the first game [against France], where I tried to make a swing to the corner and the guy like stunted at me and went to the passing lane and saved it. And they ended up hitting the three to take the lead and ended up winning the game. And he was just like, ‘You know that’s not, that’s not what you do. You knock those type of shots down, you know, and that’s what we needed you to do in that moment. So, you being passive and passing up opportunities like that doesn’t serve this team well.’
“And, you know, we spoke about it, and, you know, it was simple, I just said, ‘I should have shot it, and you know it won’t happen again, and I’m gonna come correct going forward.'”
Team USA will need Lillard to bring that same mentality against the Czech Republic on Saturday as the Americans seek to lock up a spot in the quarterfinals.
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team’s Olympic game against the Czech Republic. Follow below for complete results from USA’s final group play game Saturday morning.
USA vs. Czech Republic score
USA vs. Czech Republic live updates, highlights from 2021 Olympics
(All times Eastern)
Halftime: USA 47, Czech Republic 43
8:40 a.m. — Blake Schilb drills a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer, but Team USA walks into the locker room with a four-point lead.
8:35 a.m. — Defense to offense. Team USA has definitely picked up the intensity in the second quarter.
One of the better possessions from Team USA today. Watch the activity and how important it is. Middleton denies his man from coming off the screen. Schilb comes off the screen KD makes sure he is right there as he comes off. Jrue helps on the roll, stunts, recovers to steal/score pic.twitter.com/Anh7Jw8MPJ
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) July 31, 2021
8:30 a.m. — Kevin Durant not only gives Team USA the lead, but also passes Carmelo Anthony to become the top Olympic scorer in U.S. men’s basketball history.
8:25 a.m. — One fun subplot this game: Bulls teammates Tomas Satoransky and Zach LaVine facing off. They just took turns attacking each other on consecutive possessions.
End of first quarter: Czech Republic 25, USA 18
8:15 a.m. — Team USA responds with an 11-4 run to close the gap.
8:10 a.m. — A rough start for Team USA, as the Americans trail 17-7. Blake Schilb is cooking with 11 points for the Czech Republic.
8 a.m. — The starters for each team …
- USA: Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bam Adebayo
- Czech Republic: Tomas Satoransky, Blake Schilb, Ondrej Balvin, Jaromir Bohacik, Jan Vesely
7:50 a.m. — “Wake up, y’all. Wake up.” Don’t worry, JaVale McGee. We’re here. Tipoff is coming soon.
How to watch USA Olympic basketball games
- Time: 8 a.m. ET | 5 a.m. PT
- TV channel: N/A live on cable
- Live stream: Peacock
The USA vs. Czech Republic men’s basketball game won’t be broadcast live on cable television. Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, is the only place to watch the live action at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBCSN is scheduled to air a replay of the 2021 Olympic group match at 1:45 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Men’s Olympic basketball schedule 2021
(All times Eastern)
|Iran vs. France||9 p.m.|
|Italy vs. Nigeria||12:40 a.m.|
|Australia vs. Germany||4:20 a.m.|
|United States vs. Czech Republic||8 a.m.|
|Argentina vs. Japan||12:40 a.m.|
|Spain vs. Slovenia||4:20 a.m.|