• The day kicked off with a huge rivalry game that delivered on its promise of drama and excitement. Spain looked like Spain but they might’ve gotten an assist from a lifeless effort out of the entire Lithuanian team. Croatia overestimated their opponent and fell apart after a strong start, allowing Nigeria to get in the win column after playing well for most of the tournament.

    Group B got even more muddled today, so dive in for the details.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Argentina 111 vs. Brazil 107 (2OT)
    Spain 109 vs. Lithuania 59
    Nigeria 90 vs. Croatia 76

    Women’s

    Australia 74 vs. Belarus 66
    Turkey 79 vs. Brazil 76 (2OT)
    Japan 79 vs. France 71

    Argentina 111 vs. Brazil 107 (2OT)

    Argentina hung on for dear life in what was undoubtedly the game of the tournament so far. Argentina got out to a quick start before being throttled by the Brazilians in the second quarter that began with a 24-8 run. Brazil looked to be in good position to take home a victory before Andres Nocioni hit a game-tying three pointer in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. The two teams played to a stalemate in the first overtime before Argentina ripped off an 8-0 run to start the second session that proved too much to overcome. This game had some ugly moments but was a complete roller coaster- tons of swings, big shots and missed opportunities that were only heightened by a tremendous crowd that was out in full force for a major international rivalry game.

    Argentina received an all-time performance from Andres Nocioni. He carried Argentina when they had nothing going on and hit the clutch triple to send the game to overtime. He finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 7 triples on 11-19 from the field. He came up big all night long before fouling out in the extra sessions. Facundo Campazzo (#7) also brought his A game today, notching 33-4-11 with 4 steals and 5 triples of his own. He was the sole contributor in the Argentinia backcourt and joined Nocioni in the big shot parade to erase a 6 point Brazil lead in the final minutes of the fourth. He got some tunnel vision in double overtime but was really the only reliable scoring threat beyond Nocioni and Luis Scola. Scola pitched in 14 and 10 before fouling out and the team really seemed to struggle when he was on the bench in regulation. Patricio Garino (#29) also had 5 big points in the second overtime on a three and a clutch offensive putback after Campazzo missed a runner.

    Manu Ginobili was generally bad today. He made just 4-14 from the field while going 0-8 from deep and 5-10 from the free throw line. He hoisted up a number of bad shots that threatened to end Argentina’s day early and there were a few instances where he totally fell asleep on the defensive end and got lucky when Brazil missed open looks and easy shots. And yet Manu stepped up in the game’s closing seconds, grabbing an offensive rebound off of a missed free throw and sinking two of his own to extend the lead to four with just 2.6 seconds left. It was mostly a game to forget for Ginobili, but you can’t deny his impeccable sense of timing.

    Brazil roared back to lead for almost the entirety of the final three quarters on the back of Nene. After some nondescript games out of the forward, Brazil decided to use him to attack Luis Scola down low and it paid off in a big way. A 24-11 line led the way in a great day for Nene. Brazil’s massive second quarter was led from the bench, as Vitor Benite (#8) shot 5-6 in the quarter to pour in all 13 of his points. Giovannoni (#12) connected for 10 points of his own while former Pelican Alex Garcia (#10) went for 14-8-3. Brazil got tons of contributions from all over the roster in a game that was right there for the taking.

    Leandro Barbosa was downright awful for the first 45 minutes of action. Reduced to a spectator role, Barbosa returned in double overtime after changing into his Brazilian Blur supersuit. He scored Brazil’s first 11 points in the frame and kept Argentina from pulling away after they opened with an 8-0 run of their own. Some earlier contributions might’ve been helpful but there’s no denying that he delivered late. Marcelo Huertas fouling out in overtime was the beginning of the end for Brazil, as Raul Neto couldn’t inspire the same ball movement that worked to exploit Brazil’s size advantage down low. The offense dried up until Barbosa took over. Brazil could’ve really helped out their medal round chances with a win but might have to hope for outside help now.

    I encourage you to find a replay of this game if possible. NBC Olympics has free replays on their website if you’re in the States. This was a classic game that deserves a second look from anyone who considers themselves a basketball fan.

    Top Performers

    Argentina Brazil
    Points Nocioni 37
    Campazzo 33
    Scola 14
    Nene 24
    Huertas / Garcia 14
    Benite 13
    Rebounds Nocioni 11
    Scola 10
    Garino / Campazzo 4
    Nene 11
    Garcia 8
    Giovannoni 6
    Assists Campazzo 11
    Ginobili 4
    Four with 1
    Neto 4
    Huertas/Marquinhos/Garcia 3
    Nene 2

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Brazil has a clear size advantage; Argentina made them pay with threes but it’s an area that they’ll need to shore up with strong team defense
    • Huertas knows how to maximize every screen; such a smart player
    • Huge first half from Brazil’s bench
    • Brazil just 4/19 in Q4; couldn’t capitalize on 5 Argentina turnovers in the quarter
    • Marquinhos had a really rough game; travel in 2OT, missed free throw in OT, some poor shots and sloppy ball control
    • Ginobili and Scola missed key free throws; Ginobili in particular is having a tough time at the stripe so far in Rio
    • Campazzo got some tunnel vision late but was sensational for most of the game
    • 2 big offensive rebounds; one that led to Nocioni’s game tying shot in Q4 and Ginobili off Delfino’s 0/2 free throws at the end of the game
    • Garcia has a weird looking shot; his feet turn perpendicular to the shot, if that makes sense
    • Garcia didn’t box out on that final free throw; huge mistake at the worst time

Fantasy News

  • Chris Boucher - F - Toronto Raptors

    Chris Boucher (back spasms) is not listed on the injury report on Saturday.

    Boucher is unlikely to see any minutes, but he's in the mix for emergency center if needed.

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Moments before Game 4 tipoff, the Nets unveiled that Jared Dudley and Caris LeVert will start over Rodions Kurucs and DeMarre Carroll.

    Carroll has been struggling mightily with his shot this series at 28.0 percent and Kurucs has been equally unimpressive so coach Kenny Atkinson will make a change. Dudley played 28 minutes during the Nets Game 1 win and LeVert has been arguably their best player so far this series.

    Source: Serena Winters on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is a go for Game 4 against the Nets on Saturday.

    Embiid averaged 22.6 minutes per game in Games 1 and 2 while missing Game 3 and his minutes will likely continue be monitored. This bodes as bad news for the Nets who have gotten used to being decimated by opposing centers all season. Perhaps that ends today with with legendary enforcer Charles Oakley seen speaking with Jarrett Allen during pregame warmups.

    Source: Kyle Neubeck on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    LeVert is expected to play more in Game 4 than the 23.7 minutes per game he has averaged this series.

    LeVert played 28 minutes last game, putting up 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and three triples. He exceeded 30 minutes only once in the Nets' last 13 games but with the team in danger of falling into a 1-3 hole, giving him more minutes may not be a bad idea as he has arguably been their best player so far this series.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is a game-time decision for Saturday's Game 4 against the Nets.

    With just a little more than an hour left before tip-off, Embiid's status is still in the air. Embiid missed Game 3 after playing in 1 and 2. He played only 22.6 minutes per game in those first two and the minutes will likely be monitored again if he does suit up. Coach Brett Brown said that Greg Monroe will draw the start again if Embiid cannot go. Monroe shot only 4-of-13 from the field in his Game 3 start and ended with nine points, 13 rebounds, a block and a steal in 25 minutes.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Tony Snell - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Tony Snell (ankle) would be in an "emergency role" if he does play on Saturday according to coach Mike Budenholzer.

    Snell is still progressing according to the coach but he will not be rushed back after missing almost a month of action. The Bucks have routed the Pistons in each of the first two games in their series while Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown should not be affected by Snell's return just yet.

    Source: Matt Velazquez on Twitter

  • Juwan Howard - Team - Miami Heat

    The Lakers will interview Juwan Howard on Tuesday for the vacant head coaching position.

    Howard, an assistant coach with the Heat since 2013, will be the third candidate the Lakers interview after Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams. It has also been reported that Lue and Williams will both return for second interviews that include Jeanie Buss and other senior management. Howard is the only one of the three without head coaching experience but his extensive tutelage under Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra should pay dividends and he does have the most playing career accolades.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Russell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Russell Westbrook out dueled Damian Lillard on Friday as he notched a double-double with 33 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, four triples and one block as the Thunder beat the Blazers 120-108.

    The four threes were a welcome sight for Westbrook who described his play in this series prior to Friday night as "unacceptable." After being highly inefficient in the first two games, Westbrook shot 11-for-22 as he hit shot after shot in the fourth quarter to ice the win down the stretch. Oklahoma City will hope for more of the same as they look to even the series on Sunday.

  • Paul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Paul George labored through a 3-for-16 shooting night to score 22 points (14-for-17 from the free throw line), six assists, six rebounds and two threes on Friday.

    Friday's game marked the second time in three games that George has struggled with his shot, adding to the speculation that his right shoulder injury is holding him back. Fortunately for Oklahoma City, he stayed aggressive attacking the basket and was able to chip in 14 points from the charity stripe as well as his customary lockdown defense down the stretch.

  • Jerami Grant - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Jerami Grant scored a playoff career-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting also contributing four threes and two blocks in Friday's win over the Blazers.

    Grant caught fire at the perfect time as the shooting woes that plagued Oklahoma City in the first two games disappeared on Friday night. He was one of five teammates to make two or more threes as Oklahoma City was able to cruise to a victory.