USA Basketball stunned in upset loss to Nigeria during exhibition game
The US men’s national basketball team lost in an upset against Nigeria during an exhibition game in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday night.
Nigeria made 20 three-pointers as they beat Team USA 90-87. The game was close most of the way, but Nigeria pulled ahead at the end. USA Basketball had a poor possession at the end where they ran down most of the clock and then got fouled with a few seconds left.
I mean best case scenario for Nigeria. I'm assuming the US was hoping for a botched switch but I'm unsure. Really good denials to take the play away. End up executing the foul with only 3 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/oNcN0YNHHl
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) July 11, 2021
Zach LaVine missed his first of two free throws and then missed the second one intentionally. Nigeria got the rebound and was able to secure the win.
The United States is the favorite to win the gold medal at the Olympics in Japan, while Nigeria is a big underdog. The US has also crushed Nigeria in the past, winning their last meeting by 44 points and the meeting before that by 83. That’s what makes the game such an upset, though Nigeria has a number of NBA players on their roster.
Although nobody wants to lose a game, this is still just an exhibition and not necessarily a sign of what may come at the Olympics. But it’s a huge, high-profile win for Nigeria and Mike Brown, who is their head coach.