L.A. Times: Americans whip Brazil, 113-76, to advance to elimination play with a 4-0 record.

With big games from its three biggest stars, first place came impressively for the United States.

LeBron James scored 21 points, Kobe Bryant added 20 and harassed Leandro Barbosa all over the court, and the United States clinched the top spot in its group by beating Brazil, 113-76, tonight in the FIBA Americas tournament.

Carmelo Anthony also had 21 for the Americans (4-0), who for the second straight game pulled away by holding their opponent without a field goal for more than 6 minutes in the second quarter.

The Americans improved to 30-0 in Olympic qualifying games and will open second-round play Monday night against Mexico, the fourth-place finisher in Group A, in a matchup of former coaching rivals: Nolan Richardson beat Mike Krzyzewski for the 1994 NCAA title when Arkansas edged Duke.

Bryant led the defensive effort that held Barbosa to just four points on 1-of-7 shooting before a Thomas & Mack Center crowd that included former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell. Injured U.S. star Dwyane Wade watched from the bench for the second straight day.

Continue reading ‘U.S. finishes unbeaten in pool play’

  • MILO

    Kobe’s defense set the tone for the rout on the Brazilian’s Barbosa held to 4 points by Kobe was impresive.Way to go #24 oh sorry in this case #10.Either way Kobe continues to stand out from that team full of superstars he’s always the star that shines the most…

  • Michael_23

    Kobe can be the best scorer in the league or he can be the best defensive player in the league anytime he wants. So Scoring Champion of Best Defensive Player of the year.

    He’s Kobe. He’s the best all around player. No doubt.

  • kyler_hay

    Even Bill Walton said that Kobe set the key of the game when defending Barbosa nice job Kobe, It tells alot when Bill Walton who hates Kobe that say that he was the Player of the game GO USA!!!!!!! P.S i hope he can do it for the Lakers

  • keep24

    Kobe Bryant’s adhesive defense virtually immobilized Leandro Barbosa from the get-go. With their top scorer being played to a standstill, the Brazilians had nowhere else to go to generate reliable offense. For the aforementioned 14 minutes, various role players picked up the slack. But without the Blur zipping to the hole, Brazil couldn’t sustain any kind of offense

  • keep24

    f we’ve learned one thing from watching Team USA this summer, it’s this: the debate over who’s the best player in the world isn’t a debate anymore. Kobe Bryant has been the primary factor in why this year’s version of the U.S. squad is so much better than the last few versions. (No, we’re not dissing Jason Kidd, it’s just the truth.) Last night was Kobe’s best game of the tournament — he dropped 20 points and three triples on Brazil, and held tourney leading scorer Leandro Barbosa to four points, four turnovers and zero assists. Before the game, we know a lot of folks thought that even if Brazil lost, Barbosa would go off. Turns out he was taken out of the equation, opening the door for Team USA’s 37-point W.

    — DIME MAGAZINE

  • keep24

    LAS VEGAS — The tone of the Kobe Bryant-Leandro Barbosa matchup was set just a few moments into the first quarter, but you had to look 80 feet away from the action to see it unfold.

    As a player from Brazil shot two free throws at one end of the court, Barbosa stood beneath the basket all the way at the opposite baseline, trying to get a clear view.

    Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
    Barbosa entered the game as the tournament’s leading scorer. Thanks to Bryant, he left the floor with only four points.
    Every second or so, however, Barbosa had to move a step or two to clear his line of vision from the obstruction that kept moving in his way.

    That obstruction was Bryant, who was gluing himself to Barbosa at that very moment and stayed attached to him like white on rice all night in another stellar defensive performance that keyed Team USA’s 113-76 drubbing of previously undefeated Brazil on Sunday night.

    “He don’t guard like that in the NBA, but he did tonight and I was impressed,” Barbosa told ESPN.com. “He came to guard me, and that was good practice for me. I learned a lot of things the way he was guarding me.”

    — ESPN, Chris Sheridan

  • BEC

    Ive seen Kobe play his entire career and everytime I see him play another game I get more and more impressed, its amazing what this one man can do and how much his intensity and influence has effected this team.

    “Bryant had Team USA video coordinators prepare him a DVD of Barbosa’s offensive repertoire, comprised of some 200 plays from tapes of the Phoenix Suns and the Brazilian national team. Some paperwork came with the DVD, too — an accompanying chart listing Barbosa’s efficiency percentage for each of his favorite moves.”
    – ESPN

    Thats a man who wants to WIN. Theres really no one in the NBA who works as hard as Kobe.
    Just imagine if Kobe had offensive help with the Lakers, he would bury any player in the NBA to the ground on defense.

  • fatty

    BEC

    That’s some impressive stuff you shared with us.

    Thanks,

    Fatty

  • foxxy

    HAVE ANY OF YOU NOTICED HOW NEGATIVE BILL WALTON IS WHEN TALKING ABOUT KOBE DURING THE GAME…HE MAY NOT LIKE KOBE BUT I FEEL ITS INAPROPIATE TO SPEAK IN SUCH A NEGATIVE MANNER. HE GOES ON AND ON WITH HIS BABBLING…AS IF HE’S BEEN DRINKING…I REALLY DONT LIKE HIM COMMENTATING!!!!HE SHOULD NOT BE GIVING HIS PERSONAL OPINION ABOUT KOBE WHILE OVERSEEING A GAME…ENOUGH BILL!!!!DONT BE HATING ON KOBE BECAUSE HE SAID THE TEAM HE PLAYS ON IS SORRY(LUKE PLAYS FOR)…IT IS….AND NEEDS TO BE UPGRADED!!!!! YOU KNOW ITS THE TRUTH!!!!! STEP OFF BILL…YOUR OUT OF LINE!!!!

  • foxxy