Carmelo, Team USA dominate record books

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony and Team USA set US Olympic scoring records in a 156-73 victory over Nigeria on Thursday. The 83-point win is bigger than any win the Dream Team had in 1992.

Team USA beat Nigeria 156-73 on Thursday behind a US Olympic record 37 points from Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks star made 10 3-pointers (on 12 attempts), also a US Olympic record (Stephon Marbury was the previous record holder with 31 points and six 3-pointers).

Most Points Scored In Single Game
United States in Olympic Play

The Olympic record for points in a game is 55 by Brazil’s Oscar Schmidt against Spain in 1988.

Anthony scored his 37 points in just 14:29. If he had played the full 40 minutes at that same pace, he would have scored 102 points. If the game was 48 minutes long, like an NBA game, and he had played at that same pace, he would have scored 122 points.

It’s the largest margin of victory (83 points) by Team USA in Olympic men’s basketball history, breaking the previous record set in 1956 when Team USA beat Thailand by 72 points, 101-29. The 156 points are the all-time Olympic record (previous US high was 133, vs China in 1996).

The team also set US Olympic records for 3-pointers (29), 3-point attempts (46), field-goal percentage (71.1) and field goals (59) and tied the record for assists with 41. Team USA broke the US Olympic record for 3-pointers by halftime, making 14 in the first half.

To put the 83-point win in perspective, the five other Olympic men’s basketball games on Thursday had a combined margin of 53 points (Spain and Russia by 1, France by 8, Australia by 20 and Argentina by 23).

Team USA scored 45 transition points in the win, more than EIGHT of the 12 teams in the Olympic basketball tournament have scored in their first three full games. Team USA has scored more than twice as many transition points through the first three games as the next closest team, Spain.


Notable USA Olympic Teams Through 3 Games

The 83-point victory is bigger than the Dream Team's biggest Olympic win, a 116-48 defeat of Angola. It’s early, but through three games, the 2012 version of the Dream Team has been more dominant than the original Dream Team. They are averaging more points and winning by a bigger margin.

Here’s the reason why this blowout might not be bigger than the Dream Team's blowout of Angola. Yes, the margin in this one was +83 and the Dream Team's was +68.

But this year's game was a much higher-scoring affair. This year's team scored 156 of the total 229 points, or 68.1 percent. The Dream Team scored 116 of the total 164 points, or 70.7 percent.