Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA
Credit: FIBA

In a closely contested game, Italy (2-1) defeated Nigeria (0-3) 80-71 (29-17, 11-22, 16-24, 24-8) with a strong fourth-quarter performance.

Nigeria scored first, but Italy went on a 12-3 run, which prompted Mike Brown to call a timeout with 6:31 to play in the first. However, it didn't appear to help, as Nigerians kept missing shots and committing turnovers. Italy, who started the game with Nico Mannion and Danilo Gallinari on the bench, built a double-digit lead with 5:16 to go in the first quarter. The African team hasn't bought into its coach's request for a better defensive effort, as Italy managed to put up 29 points in the opening frame.

However, Nigeria came out storming in the second quarter. Chimezie Metu made two 3-pointers, Jahlil Okafor added four points, and Nigeria's 10-0 run cut their deficit to just two (29-27). Stefano Tonut stopped Italy's point drought, but Metu kept on hitting treys, and the score became 31-30 with 5:08 to play in the second. Teams continued evenly contested match until Precious Achiuwa's tip in tipped the scales in Nigeria's favor (34-36). But Giampaolo Ricci quickly responded with a 3-pointer, and Italy managed to hold on to a slim lead going into halftime (40-39).

After coming off the bench, Chimezie Metu led Nigeria's second-quarter charge by scoring 14 points (4/5 3PT) in 13 minutes of playtime. 

Italy started the 3rd period 6-3, but Nigeria needed less time to warm up, and after Okafor's two straight baskets, the score was tied at 46 apiece. Teams continued to trade baskets until Nigeria produced a 9-3 run, capped off by Nwora's 3-point shot with 13 seconds remaining in the quarter. That built the largest lead by the African team (56-63) going into the final period.

Italy struggled with shooting at the start of the fourth, but Nigeria didn't capitalize on that. After 3-pointer by Giampaolo Ricci and layups from Simone Fontecchio and Nicolo Melli, the Italians took back the lead (67-64) with 5:33 remaining in the game. And the ending of the final quarter belonged to more experienced Europeans. Despite valiant efforts by Chimezie Metu, Italy held on to a narrow lead and earned their second victory in the Olympics together with second place in the group and a quarter-final berth.

Italy: Nicolo Melli 15, Nico Mannion 14, Achille Polonara 13, Simone Fontecchio 12, Stefano Tonut 10.

Nigeria: Chimezie Metu 22 (10 REB), Jordan Nwora 20, Jahlil Okafor 14. 

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Anonymous
live usa vs czech republic twitch.tv/meduli !
2021-07-31
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Italijos rinktinÄ—
Nigerijos rinktinÄ—
40%
28/70
Field goals
40%
25/62
40
Rebounds
39
16
Assists
11
8
Steals
7
3
Blocks
2
51%
20/39
2-pointers
41%
14/34

Best players

Nicolo  Melli
15 PTS
6/12 FG
2/2 FT
Chimezie  Metu
22 PTS
7/11 FG
2/2 FT
Michele  Vitali
6 REB
6 DREB
0 OREB
Chimezie  Metu
10 REB
9 DREB
1 OREB
Italy
Few players
4 As
Chimezie  Metu
3 As
2 TO
32 MIN
Achille  Polonara
14 EFF
75% 2P%
50% 3P%
Chimezie  Metu
32 EFF
25% 2P%
86% 3P%