In my preview to today’s game, my keys for Brazil to come away with a win were to get big games from their bigs and for Guilherme Giovannoni to step up and provide some offensive help.
Unfortunately for Brazil, neither happened in their 82-77 loss and the Olympics are now over for them.
Brazil started off strong, with 26 points in the first quarter, 13 of which came via Marcelinho Huertas. But they would hit a dry spell and only score 14 in the second and third quarters.
Argentina used a third quarter 14-2 rally to create a 15-point gap in the third quarter. Brazil would answer back, but Argentina still had a 10-point lead going into the fourth.
Brazil, lead by Huertas and Leandro Barbosa, looked to narrow the gap in the fourth. An Alex Garcia jumper got Brazil within two points with just over four minutes left in the game, but Argentina got to the line, scoring eight points from the line in the final minute.
Barbosa launched two threes and Argentina gave them a few chances with Luis Scola missing four free throws with seconds left on the clock, but Brazil didn’t have enough time to make up the difference.
Argentina was lead in scoring by Luis Scola’s 17 points. San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Carlos Delfino regained his stroke, scoring 16 points and making two of his four three-point attempts.
As I expected, Juan Gutierrez once again came up big with 11 points and four rebounds.
For Brazil, it was the Huerts and Barbosa show, with both scoring 22 points. Spurs forward Tiago Splitter chipped in six points, four rebounds and four assists.
Argentina now moves on to face the the winner of the United States and Australia game. Most expect the United States to come away with the win so we’ll all get the rematch of the heated game in the preliminaries.