USA dominates Iran for first Tokyo Olympics win in men's basketball

Published July 28, 2021, 5:00 PMRenee Ticzon

Team USA nailed 19 3-pointers against Iran, with Damian Lillard’s seven triples leading the way.


USA 120, Iran 66

What went down

The U.S. men’s basketball team came away with a dominant 120-66 win over Iran. 

The U.S. took control from the get go, headed by Damian Lillard’s 3-pointers. Leading by five four minutes into the game, the US went on an 11-0 scoring run to bump the lead up to 16 at the end of the opening period.

Lillard and the rest of Team USA never looked back, ending the half with 57 percent shooting from the field and 62 percent from downtown. This really hurt Iran who only made 11 baskets in the first half, allowing the U.S. to build a 60-30 lead.

Things didn’t look so different when they returned from the halftime break as the U.S. continued to dominate. The Iranians couldn’t seem to catch a break, with only Hamed Haddadi and Navid Rezaeifar making a significant impact on their team.

It was a little too late for Iran when they started heating up in the fourth, where hey tallied their highest scoring quarter with 23 points.

The U.S. successfully bounced back after their 25-game Olympic winning streak came to an end in their opening game against France. Meanwhile, Iran has yet to snatch a win, going 0-2 in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Big-time baller

After struggling against France, Damian Lillard made big shots against Iran. He delivered a game-high 21 points all from downtown, where he shot 54 percent. He also had two rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes.

What they said

The USA Basketball Twitter account made a mistake in posting Damian Lillard’s first-half points. This was their perfect reply when the Portland Trail Blazers’ asked what time it was:

What’s in a number?

The U.S. shot 55.3 percent from the field against Iran while they only shot 46.8 percent against France. More importantly, the team hit 19-of-39 shots from beyond the arc, a stark contrast from their 8-of-27 in the opening loss.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant already has a total of 331 points in his three Olympic stints. Carmelo Anthony holds the U.S. scoring record with 336 in four appearances.