Damian Lillard, Team USA On Fire Against Iran
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Damian Lillard and the USA Men’s Basketball team found their shooting stroke in the first half against Iran.
Lillard knocked down a team-high six three-pointers in the first half against Iran while the team knocked down 13 threes overall to take a commanding 60-30 lead.
It was a welcome sign for the USA roster who knocked down just 10-32 threes in their 83-76 loss to France in their first game of group play.
Lillard struggled in the Olympic opener connecting on just 3-10 shots overall for nine points. The former Weber State Wildcat had 18 points at the half against the less talented Iranian roster and was the only American to score in double figures at the break.
In addition to re-calibrating their shooting, the Men’s Olympic team also cleaned up their defensive effort. After allowing France to shoot nearly 47 percent from the floor on Sunday, the Americans held Iran to just 11-32 shooting for 34 percent.
Team USA needs to beat Iran and the Czech Republic on Saturday to position themselves to advance to the quarterfinals which begin next week.
The Czech Republic beat Iran 84-78 in their Olympic opener on Saturday to match France atop Group A. The top two teams from each of the three groups will advance to the quarterfinals, along with the two top-rated three seeds.