Australia tests US in men’s basketball


Associated Press



United States' Carmelo Anthony (15) and teammates walk off the court after their win over Australia in a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Australia's Andrew Bogut, center, United States' DeAndre Jordan (6) and United States' Klay Thompson (11) scramble for a rebound during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


United States' DeMarcus Cousins (12) blocks Australia's Ryan Broekhoff (9) during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


RIO DE JANEIRO — The blowouts are over. The Olympics are underway.

After nothing but pushovers this summer, the U.S. men’s basketball team faced someone who pushed back.

“This is the real world now and that’s good for us,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Finally tested, Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving had the answers.

Anthony scored 31 points on the night he became the U.S. men’s Olympic career scoring leader, passing LeBron James, combining with Irving for all the Americans’ baskets in the fourth quarter of a 98-88 victory over Australia on Wednesday night.

Irving — born in Australia — added 19 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:35 left after Australia had closed within four.

A team that won its first two games by a combined 101 points could never get a comfortable lead — and for a while couldn’t get one at all. The Australians, with big bodies inside, quality point guards to counter the American pressure and a wealth of NBA championship experience, stood toe to toe with the team that had blown them out of the last two Olympics in the quarterfinals.

United States' Carmelo Anthony (15) and teammates walk off the court after their win over Australia in a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111844959-9b1253f3bc9f4d72a501cefca4df9842.jpgUnited States' Carmelo Anthony (15) and teammates walk off the court after their win over Australia in a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Australia's Andrew Bogut, center, United States' DeAndre Jordan (6) and United States' Klay Thompson (11) scramble for a rebound during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111844959-71313581ce1a46128355c4204225ecc7.jpgAustralia's Andrew Bogut, center, United States' DeAndre Jordan (6) and United States' Klay Thompson (11) scramble for a rebound during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
United States' DeMarcus Cousins (12) blocks Australia's Ryan Broekhoff (9) during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111844959-46377dc210814be1ba34841f90366404.jpgUnited States' DeMarcus Cousins (12) blocks Australia's Ryan Broekhoff (9) during a men's basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Associated Press

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