Phoenix Suns guard Eric Gordon drenched Argentina time and time again with splash 3s Sunday night with his final one punctuating an 82-75 comeback victory for Bahamas in the Olympic pre-qualifying tournament championship game.
Scoring a game-high 27 points, Gordon shot 6-of-7 from 3, hitting a crowd-silencing, stepback dagger with the shot clock expiring to put Bahamas up, 80-75, with 20.2 seconds left.
Before that, Gordon gave Bahamas the lead for good, 77-75, on a 3 with 1:32 remaining. Bouncing off former NBA player, Carlos Delfino, who fell to the floor, Gordon rose up and knocked it down from deep.
Gordon signed a two-year deal with the Suns in the offseason, giving them a veteran player who can stretch the floor from 3. He put that on full display in the tournament title game.
Travis Munnings scored 16 points, Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield added 15 points and Suns big Deandre Ayton chipped in 10 points and a game-high 21 rebounds.
Bahamas went 4-0 in tournament play with Sunday’s victory proving to be the biggest of its history as Argentina came into the tournament fourth in FIBA world rankings.
Bahamas were ranked 56th, but are a much different team with three NBA players.
The national team advanced to next year’s Olympic qualifying tournaments July 2-7 with the winners of those tournaments earning a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Bahamas have never participated in the Summer Olympics in men’s basketball. With Gordon, Hield and Ayton, that may very well change next summer.
Gordon was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, played for Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Cup, but his mom is Bahamian.
USA Basketball granted Gordon’s release and FIBA approved “his change of country representation due to Article 22 of its internal regulations,” 10thyearseniors posted on its Instagram account.
Article 22 of the FIBA Internal Regulations explains an exception in which a player can play for another national team in another country “if the change is in the best interest of basketball.”
The following are considered when making this decision.
The impact of the change in the development of basketball in the countries or territories involved.
The level of basketball in the countries involved, such as their world and continental ranking and recent results.
The potential effect of the change in the competitive balance of FIBA official competitions.
The circumstances of the participation of the player with the previous national team.
Support local journalism. Start your online subscription.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix Suns guard Eric Gordon clutch, Bahamas edges Argentina in title game