With Saturday’s 119-84 win over the Czech Republic, the USA men’s basketball team clinched a spot in the Olympic quarterfinals.
And, of course, Zach LaVine got the bragging rights he so desired over Chicago Bulls teammate Tomáš Satoranský, who starred at point guard throughout the Czechs’ run.
“It was good,” LaVine said of going toe-to-toe with Satoranský. “I talked to him before and after the game. Obviously we (Team USA) wanted to go in there and make a statement.”
LaVine played 20 minutes, scoring 13 points and handing out 5 assists. Satoranský once again stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points and 8 dimes.
Though the USA victory ended in resounding fashion, it started rocky. The Czech Republic led 25-18 after the first quarter before a Kevin Durant scoring barrage helped vault the Americans in front. Team USA won quarters two through four by a score of 101-59.
“They have a good team. They got out on us and we picked it up in the second and third quarter,” LaVine said. “It feels good to go out there and see him (Satoranský) play. Compete against him obviously in a different time than — we’re used to just competing against each other in practice. It was good to see him with his team.”
Next up for the Americans is a bout with Spain, who they defeated 83-76 in their final Las Vegas exhibition, in the quarterfinals at 11:40 p.m. CT on Monday.
And next up…