London Day Five: Jackson Passes Leslie in Win

Kevin Pelton, | Aug. 1, 2012

After falling to France on Monday, the Australian Opals bounced back Wednesday to defeat Brazil 67-61 and improve to 2-1 in Group B. Storm star Lauren Jackson was the story. During the third quarter, Jackson tied Lisa Leslie's career mark for Olympic scoring with 488 points. A free throw in the final minute of the period pushed Jackson past Leslie.

At the time, the NBC Basketball Network reported that Jackson became the all-time Olympic leader, but Brazil's Janeth Arcain holds the record with 535 points over four Olympic Games. Jackson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, giving her 497 for her career - 38 shy of Arcain with two more group games and the medal rounds to play.

Lauren Jackson shoots.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sports

With 18 points Wednesday, Jackson surpassed Lisa Leslie for career Olympic scoring.

Arcain's average of 18.45 points per game in Olympic play between 1992 and 2004 narrowly surpasses Jackson's 18.41 points per game, but the Australian star will have the opportunity to play as many as three more games in the same number of Olympics because of a format change after the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

Jackson has scored double figures in all but one of her Olympic appearances - a 96-39 win over Senegal in 2000, when she finished with five points. Jackson's double-digit Olympic streak stretches 23 games over nearly 12 years.

In addition to Jackson, the Opals got strong play inside from Liz Cambage (17 points, 10 rebounds, four steals) and Suzy Batkovic (11 points, six rebounds). The three posts helped keep Brazilian star Erika De Souza in foul trouble. De Souza scored 11 points in just 20 minutes of action before drawing her fifth foul and heading to the bench in the final quarter.

Karla Costa knocked down four threes and scored 22 points, but Brazil shot just 32.8 percent from the field. Still, Australia was unable to pull away, struggling with turnovers and beyond the arc (2-of-12). Brazil got as close as four in the final minute before two free throws by Jackson sealed the game.

AUSTRALIA 67, BRAZIL 61: Box Score

USA 89, TURKEY 58: Box Score

For two and a half quarters, Turkey was able to give the USA women their toughest test of the Olympics thus far, but ultimately the Americans used their depth to pull away for a commanding 89-58 final margin.

Turkey trailed by just five with 2:42 to play in the third quarter before the USA responded with a 17-2 run. Turkey would score just 11 points over the game's final 12:18 as three-pointers that had been falling stopped going. Those misses allowed the U.S. women to get out in transition for the easy buckets that fuel their runs.

With Asjha Jones replacing Sylvia Fowles in the starting lineup (a spot that would have gone to Tina Charles but for a "uniform malfunction"), the USA's second unit proved more explosive than the starters. Angel McCoughtry scored 18 points in just 16 minutes, adding seven rebounds. Charles (16) and Lindsay Whalen (14), the team's other double-digit scorers, also came off the bench, which outscored the starters 64-25.

The USA reserves had the luxury of playing against a Turkey lineup without veteran star Nevriye Yilmaz, whose foul trouble was central to the American run. Yilmaz had just two points and three rebounds in 22 minutes, but Turkey nearly played even with her on the floor during the first three quarters while getting outscored by 13 with Yilmaz sitting on the bench.

Storm point guard Sue Bird did an efficient job of running the first unit. Bird scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, knocking down a pair of three-pointers, and handed out four assists.

After dispatching of Turkey, which had won its first two games, the USA now faces the Czech Republic and former Storm forward Jana Vesela in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship final. The Czech Republic earned its first victory Wednesday after starting a surprising 0-2.

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