Winners are grinners ... Carmelo Anthony laughs after scoring a 3-pointer against Nigeria.

Winners are grinners ... Carmelo Anthony laughs after scoring a 3-pointer against Nigeria. Photo: AP Photo

The US basketball team scored the most points in a single Olympic men's basketball game this morning, breaking the Olympic record set in 1988.

The team, which is made up of a number of high profile NBA stars including Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, defeated Nigeria 156-73 in the preliminary round game.

Anthony scored a game-high of 37 points in 10 out of 12 shots, shooting from the 3-point range, setting a new US Olympic team record for points scored by an individual in a men's basketball game. According to the USA Basketball twitter feed, this amazing score was notched up in 14 minutes.

While Anthony's score hit a new high for the US team, it didn't quite top the Olympic record -  55 points scored by Oscar Schmidt from Brazil in a game against Spain in 1988. The previous US record was 31 points by Stephon Marbury against Spain in 2004.

The US did break the Olympic record for the highest overall team score in a game though, topping the level set by Brazil in 1988 at Seoul in a 138-85 preliminary round triumph over Egypt. The Brazilians also had the prior mark from a 137-64 victory over India in 1980 at Moscow.

Lebron James looks on during the men's preliminary round Group A basketball match against Nigeria. Click for more photos

NBA basketballers break Olympic record

Lebron James looks on during the men's preliminary round Group A basketball match against Nigeria. Photo: Reuters

  • Lebron James looks on during the men's preliminary round Group A basketball match against Nigeria.
  • Lebron James shoots against Tony Skinn (number 4) and Al-Farouq Aminu (number 7) of Nigeria.
  • US basketballers Lebron James (left) and Kobe Bryant.
  • US player Kobe Bryant goes up for a slam dunk against Nigeria.
  • US player Tyson Chandler dunks the ball.
  • US player Andre Iguodala,  pressures Nigeria's Derrick Obasohan during the game.
  • Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket past Nigeria's Derrick Obasohan.
  • Members of the US men's basketball team celebrate as teammate Carmelo Anthony breaks the all-time single game scoring record for an US basketball team member in the Olympics.

The Americans' previous Olympic team record for points in a game was 133-70, from a win over China in 1996 at Atlanta.

Andre Iguodala sank the record-breaking 3-pointer with 4:36 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the US squad 139 points before the multi-millionaire lineup added another 17 points to the record total.

The US team has won its three games so far in the Olympics, all-but clinching a Group A berth in the medal playoff round. That formality is expected to come on Saturday when the Americans face Lithuania.

USA's Russell Westbrook  scores against Nigeria.

USA's Russell Westbrook scores against Nigeria. Photo: AP PHoto

Nigeria fell to 1-2, drawing even with Lithuania for the last Group A playoff position.

The US squad also broke its Olympic team record for 3-point baskets by shooting 29-of-46 from beyond the arc.

The old US team Olympic mark of 13 3-pointers in a game was established against Spain in the 2008 Olympic final at Beijing. It fell on a 3-pointer by Deron Williams with 1:35 remaining in the second quarter.

AFP with smh.com.au