Rio 2016: Australia's Cambage can't be stopped, Spain men finally win


Liz Cambage put on a show as Australia's women's basketball team maintained their perfect start at Rio 2016.

The Australian basketball star, averaging a double-double so far in Rio, turned in another stellar showing on Thursday with 37 points and 10 rebounds to lead a come-from-behind 92-86 victory over Japan.

Only three other women in Olympic history have scored 37 points or more in a game.

Australia, now 4-0 and atop Group A, trailed by as many as 16 points early in the fourth quarter. But Cambage went off for 20 points in the game's final 7:31, and the Opals escaped because of it. She leads all women's scorers with 23.8 points per game in Rio. 

France also won, beating hosts Brazil 74-64, and sit one point behind Australia at 3-1 in group play. Turkey toppled Belarus, 74-71.

Spain's men, mired in heartbreak by their disappointing start to the Games, finally came out on the right side of a close call on Thursday for their first victory.

The two-time reigning silver medallists needed a 31-point fourth quarter to pull out a 96-87 victory over Nigeria, ranked number 25 in the world, but it will do after back-to-back upset losses. Four-time Olympian Pau Gasol had his best performance thus far with 16 points (seven-for-15 shooting) and seven rebounds.

Group B is topsy-turvy right now with Lithuania atop the standings after handing Argentina their first loss 81-73. Croatia, tied with the Argentineans at five points for second in the group, knocked off Brazil 80-76.



Spain's Ricky Rubio famously has never dunked in a game during any of his five NBA seasons. The point guard pulled one off on Thursday, swiping the ball at mid court and rushing uncontested toward the rim for two of his 15 points. It was nothing fancy, but a momentous occasion nonetheless.



Bojan Bogdanovic helped an upstart Croatia squad notch its second win in Rio. The Brooklyn Nets swingman kept up his strong Olympic play with 33 points and six rebounds against host Brazil. He is averaging 24.7 per game, second only to Australia's Patty Mills (25.7).



"For me it's not something that surprises me. This Croatian team have power, talent and energy to play, and we are young. I think we can play with everybody, except America," - Dario Saric on Croatia's surprise start

"We heard the explosion. We didn't know exactly what it was. We just kind of looked around and said, 'What's going on? What's happening here?' We didn't know. We thought maybe nobody came to watch the game. At first, we just heard the noise and looked around but we saw everything was OK," - Gasol on players' reaction to a controlled explosion carried out on a suspicious backpack inside the basketball venue.

"At the end of the day, I didn't really care how many points I got just as long as we won. I'm not happy with that game. I had bad defense the first half. There's things I need to go back and look at on tape and learn from," - Cambage lamented her three turnovers.



Undefeated in group play, the United States men's and women's teams set out to keep it that way against Serbia and Canada respectively on Friday. Australia's men face China and Venezuela sees France in the nightcap. Serbia versus China and Spain against Senegal round out the women's slate to begin the final weekend of preliminary games.