In the second quarter, Team USA wasn't so much "good" as Russia was "bad."
But in the third, it was a whole different story. With Kevin Durant leading the way and the American defense forcing turnovers from the Russians, Team USA stretched their lead from 5 to 14, and playing some of the best basketball of the tournament.
While Kevin Durant remained the mainstay, Russell Westbrook and Chauncey Billups both keyed the surge in the second half with some hot outside shooting, while Lamar Odom did the little things to keep the offense moving and Russians stagnant on the other end.
Especially considering the early adversity, the win has to be reassuring for USA Basketball. Not only did Durant perform as always, but the Russians were essentially run off the court in the second half. For a young team that's susceptible to playing down to competition and essentially "beating themselves", today had to be encouraging.
The U.S. will play the winner of today's Argentina-Lithuania game on Saturday, and until then, I will be watching this video on continuous loop.