The USA basketball team somehow just lost to NIGERIA in an Olympic exhibition game

Jul 11th

In a tuneup game ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the US men's basketball team shockingly lost Saturday to Nigeria 90-87.

At the last Olympics, the US team beat Nigeria by 43 points, and in the games before that in 2012, they won by 83 points.

Despite the US's talent, the Nigerian team had better coordination on the court.

When the pressure arrived -- as Nigeria overcame a 10-point deficit and made it clear there was a possible upset in the offing -- the Americans tightened up and started playing a very isolation-heavy offense. But with players such as Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, Team USA has some of the best isolation players in the world.

But all three were rusty and bothered by the opposition's size and combined to shoot 9-of-30. Durant finished with 17 points but made just 2 of his first 11 shots. Beal played poorly, going 1-of-7, and Lillard didn't have his typical late-game magic as he missed several open looks.

The American team tried to rally after falling behind by 8 points with two minutes left, but couldn't get it done.

Needless to say, the Nigerian team was pumped.

"It was an exhibition and at the end of the day it doesn't mean much in the standings," said Nigeria coach Mike Brown, a current Golden State Warriors assistant. "But it's a good win for us. I don't think any African team has been able to beat USA Basketball."


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