Sept. 10, 2001
Baron Davis, who from 1997-99 was a standout guard for UCLA, helped lead the USA Men's Basketball team to the Gold Medal at the Goodwill Games, beating Argentina, 91-63 in the championship game on Sunday (Sept. 9).
Davis, now a Charlotte Hornet star who started every game for the 5-0 U. S squad, in the final against Argentina, played 22 minutes, and contributed 11 points, five assists and one steal.
It was the USA's second victory over Argentina at the Goodwill Games, also winning 97-67 in preliminary play on Sept. 4. Argentina advanced to the championship game by beating host Australia, 69-63, in the other semi-final game on Saturday. In Sunday's Bronze medal game, Brazil bounced back to beat host Australia, again in overtime, 94-93.
The U. S. squad, comprised of young NBA standouts, advanced to Sunday's final by beating Brazil, 106-98 in overtime, in a semi-final contest on Saturday (Sept. 8).
Against Brazil, the score was tied 90-90 in the final seconds of regulation and Brazil had the basketball. Following a timeout, Brazil guard Dementrius Ferraciu dribbled upcourt looking for the game-winning shot. But Davis' defensive tactics did not allow Ferraciu to get off a shot and he dribbled the ball out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left in regulation. USA outscored Brazil 16-8 in overtime to seal the win.
"I knew he wanted to go left, so I just really jumped on his left side and forced him to the baseline and I knew I was quick enough to cut him off," Davis said.
In the win over Brazil, Davis started and played 35 minutes, with 11 points, three assists, one blocked shot and five steals.
Along with its unbeaten 5-0 record, the U. S. squad averaged 107.4 points a game and had an average margin of victory of 36.2 points.
The USA has now captured Gold in back-to-back Goodwill Games, having also won in New York at the 1998 Games, with a thrilling 93-85 overtime win over Australia. The USA has medaled in every Goodwill Games competition and in the process currently boasts an overall win-loss record of 24-6 (80.0 winning percentage). The USA captured Gold in 1998 and 1986, Silver in 1990 and Bronze in 1994. All four of those Goodwill Games' teams were comprised of college players.