[Live blogging the U.S.-Greece men's basketball game]
Here's how you know when the Redeem Salim Teamers have clinched victory in the Olympics this time around: when Tayshaun Prince peels off the warm-ups. Today, that moment came with 6:33 left in the game. The lineup for much of the fourth quarter included Prince, Michael Redd, Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams. That's as close to the scrubs as it gets on this team. And yet when they score, the starters wave their towels like they're cheering for some walk-on from Sioux City.
The drab fourth quarter was livened up by an exciting dance act featuring inflatable mascots, Chinese cheerleaders AND Eastern European cheerleaders, all performing at one time to the music of J-Lo. The crowd liked that one. But, for the fourth straight quarter, the arena relied only on one small group of Greek fans for any sort of consistent noise. The Chinese basketball fan, or at least the one inside the Olympic Basketball Gymnasium, just does not believe in between-basket noise-making.
U.S. scourge Vassilis Spanoulis (and his first name is spelled about eight different ways in official material, so forgive me if you don't like the one I've chosen) had 14 points, but only one teammate reached double digits: center Theodoros Papaloukas with 15. Chris Bosh and Kobe Bryant led the Americans with 18 each, while Dwyane Wade had 17.
Random basketball celebrity sighting: Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt.
After their win, the Americans all gathered at center court for a group huddle. Chris Bosh was last, and he threw his towel into the circle. Then he and Dwight Howard did some sort of private power rangers deal. Will explore.