Kevin Durant led the United States with 17 points, but couldn’t find his shot and was only 4 of 13 off the field. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Damian Lillard added 14 points and four assists. Overall, Team USA had a bad shooting night, with 26 of 63, just 41% overnight.
Trailing by three points in the dying seconds, they had a chance to level the game, but were unable to execute the set play during their time out. It took way too long to develop, and Nigeria ultimately made a foul to prevent the Americans from attempting a 3-point attempt.
If you want a bit of context on what constitutes an all-time upheaval, look at the result when these two countries played at the 2012 Olympics in London:
After the London Games, the United States and Nigeria met again in 2016 for an exhibition, and the United States won by 44 (110-66).
On Saturday Nigeria – which is led by Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown – took the common path to cause a massive upheaval: they got very hot from 3, hitting 20 triples out of 42 and never lagging behind. fourth quarter. . Gabe Vincent of the Miami Heat hit six of those 3 points en route to 21 points, the team’s best. Nigeria also won the rebound battle 46-34.
You’d think it would grab the attention of the U.S. team as they continue to prepare for the start of the Tokyo Olympics. We’ll see if that kindles a fire when the United States returns to the pitch for their next show on Monday against Australia. After the loss, this is the approach taken by Jayson Tatum and head coach Gregg Popovich.
“In a way, I’m pretty glad it happened,” Popovich said. “It doesn’t mean anything if we don’t learn from it. This could be the most important thing in this tournament for us. “
“I think it’s good for us,” Tatum added. “We’re going to learn a lot from the film, come together and stay positive. “