by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
LeBron James has been on fire throughout the 2012 Olympics. Although not a point guard, King James has undoubtedly quarterbacked Team USA each and every game, and that was no different in last night’s 119-86 victory against Austrailia.
Well, it was a little different. James finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, marking the first triple-double in U.S. Olympic history. LeBron is simply a monster, and is now within two games of becoming just the second player ever to win the NBA championship, NBA MVP trophy and a gold medal in the same calendar year, something only Michael Jordan can relate to.
After Team USA’s game last night, head coach Mike Krzyzewski put it bluntly: “He’s the best basketball player in the world right now.”
James finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists for the first triple-double in U.S. Olympic history (since assists were kept as an official statistic in 1976), and his 12 assists tied the U.S. Olympic single-game high. Additionally, shooting 19-of-46 from 3-point, the USA tied its U.S. Olympic record of 46 3-point attempts, which it set on Aug. 2 against Nigeria.
While the final score was a 35-point blowout, Australia was down by just 14 points at the start of the fourth quarter. Three of Bryant’s four 3-pointers came off of assists from James.
“I’m proud of the win, that’s all that matters to me,” James said. “I don’t really care about me statistically. The win is more important; I’m happy to be able to move on.”
Team USA will face Argentina (4-2), which topped Brazil (4-2) 82-77 to advance, in the semifinals at 9 p.m. (4 p.m EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA previously beat Argentina 126-97 in its final preliminary round game on Aug. 6, as well as in exhibition play, 86-80, on July 22 in Barcelona, Spain.