GB seal Sheffield success over Portugal

14 July 2012 / 17:16

Great Britain's men's basketball team used a huge third quarter to claim their first win of the Olympic warm-up campaign as they defeated Portugal 83-68 in Sheffield.

Chris Finch's team looked disjointed for much of the first half, but found their rhythm in the third quarter as they outscored the Portuguese 25-6 to build an unassailable lead.

They had trailed 39-37 at half-time despite scoring the last four points of the second quarter, but got off to a flying start in the third quarter with three-pointers from Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Nate Reinking helping to put them in front.

When Kyle Johnson hit back-to-back threes the lead ballooned to 16, 61-45, with Britain getting big stops on the defensive end and then breaking with devastating effect. Portugal rallied early in the fourth quarter, closing back to within 10, 66-56, before Luol Deng's three and Reinking's lay-up gave Britain breathing space.

When Eric Boateng scored an outstanding alley-oop dunk late in the fourth quarter, the lead was 82-65 and the win was secure.

In the first half Portugal started brightly with early three-pointers from Joao Gomes and Mario Fernandes helping them into an 11-5 lead. Britain battled back and were in front, 14-13, on a pair of free throws from Mensah-Bonsu.

A dunk from Dan Clark and three-pointer from Andrew Lawrence gave Britain a 23-18 lead early in the second quarter, but they could not build on it as sloppy mistakes kept handing the ball back to Portugal.

They accepted the gifts, and Tomas Barroso's lay-up capped a 21-8 run as they went 39-33 up late in the second quarter. Mensah-Bonsu made a pair of free throws and Clark sank a buzzer-beating jump-shot to make it 39-37 at half-time.

Deng led Britain with 21 points while Mensah-Bonsu added 12 and Mike Lenzly 10. Joao Santos led Portugal with 16 while Gomes added 12 despite battling foul trouble for most of the game and fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

Britain play Portugal again on Sunday before taking on the reigning Olympic and world champions the United States in Manchester on Thursday.