When The Underdog Wins….
Celebrating The Magnificence of Not Only Sports, But Upsets Around The World

DAY 4 LIVE THREAD: US Basketball 2 – 0, US Gymnasts Claim Unexpected Bronze

Led by 19 points from Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade the 2008 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team coasted to a 97-76 win over Angola (0-2) Tuesday Night at Wukesong Arena in Beijing. In addition to Wade, 2007 NBA slam dunk champion Dwight Howard added 14 points, and superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony each finished with 12 as the red, white and blue remained undefeated in Preliminary Group B play.

Reaction from players to come!

From the Star Telegram:

BEIJING – You know it’s not a big game when:

-President Bush isn’t sitting courtside.

-The opposing team has no NBA players.

-The Olympic Basketball Gymnasium is half full, or half empty, depending on your point of view.

-The media gets one-on-one interviews with players afterward.

-Coach K takes a cat nap during the second half.

OK, maybe Coach K wasn’t caught taking a cat nap, but who would know? He didn’t get off the bench much after the first quarter.

It was a big blowout for Team USA – 97-76 – in front of a small crowd, punctuated with a giant yawn.

“We had to make our own energy tonight,” Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams admitted. “It wasn’t at all like (Sunday) night.”

The Angolans were just happy it was as close as it was. In 1992, the original Dream Team beat Angola 116-48. Four years ago in Athens, the Americans won by 36. This time, it was only 21.

“I wanted to win the game, but it was impossible,” Angola guard Carlos Morais said. “… But I think they expected to beat us 60 points or more.”

It easily could have been 30 or more.

The Americans took the lead, 10-9, with 5:59 left in the first quarter and led by as much as 33 in the fourth quarter before calling off the All-Stars.

“We didn’t come out here to embarrass anybody,” said Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd, who said he’s finally getting over his head cold.

Four players scored in double figures led by Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s 19, and everyone scored except Kidd, who had four rebounds, three assists, a turnover and two steals in 14 minutes and 41 seconds.

The Angolans, with an average height of 6-4, two inches shorter than the Americans, were in over their heads from the start. It was David vs. Goliath, and David had no jump shot.

“We knew that we were going to face the best players in the world,” Angola center Joaquim Gomes said. “The most important thing for us was to try to play better than we did the first game and try to get ready for the next game. Most of all, to have fun.”

Not every Abdel, Joaquim and Olimpio gets to face the Dream Team.

Although Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James admits he gets a kick out of opponents who ask for his autograph after the game, the Angolans didn’t ask. They had no need to.

Angola forward Felizardo Ambrosio got James’ signature on James’ huge second-quarter block that ended with James standing over the fallen Ambrosio. Gomes later got it on a James dunk in his face.

“When Lebron James dunked the ball with his left hand after doing some air movements,” Gomes said, shaking his head. “It was amazing.”

It was the memory Gomes said he would take home with him. The Angolans came to Beijing and played the Dream Team, and all they went home with was a lousy 21-point loss.

—————————————–

Jonathan Horton leads the way for the Americans to receieve suprising Bronze medal.

Jonathan Horton leads the way for the Americans to receieve suprising Bronze medal.

China claimed the gold medal in men’s team gymnastics Tuesday at the Beijing Games, but the big shocker came with the U.S. winning a bronze medal despite a roster of all first-time Olympians.

China, the current team world champions, finished with a total of 286.125 points. Japan won the silver with 278.875, while the Americans had 275.850

China placed first in five of the six apparatus and the U.S. barely reached the podium thanks to edging Germany by 1.25 points.

The U.S. team, comprised of Sasha Artemev, Raj Bhavsar, Joseph Hagerty, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring and Kevin Tan, has overcome plenty of adversity in recent weeks.

Paul Hamm, the reigning all-around champion, withdrew from the Summer Games due to a broken right hand, and his twin, Morgan, pulled out last week because of a left ankle injury. That left Artemev and Bhavsar as replacement athletes, but they helped the U.S. to the podium finish.

The Americans were in second place going into the final rotation, which was pommel horse, the toughest to overcome for the U.S. That’s when Japan, the 2004 gold medal winners, leaped over the U.S. to claim the silver.

 

 

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