Records fell in the early hours of Friday morning as the US team posted the highest ever score in Olympic basketball history.

Boasting some of the biggest names in the NBA, the Americans finished with 156 points to Nigeria's 73, having scored 100 points with more than five minutes left of the third quarter.

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US players celebrate the toppling of Olympic records

Carmelo Anthony topped the scoring with 37 points, hitting an astonishing 10 out of 12 3-point attempts.

After the game, Kobe Bryant, who scored 16 points, said it was "great to be part of history" but played down comparisons with the Dream Team that won the US gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

“[It] feels great,” he said. “We weren’t aware of it [the record] until late, but it’s great to be part of something special.”

When asked about how this performance ranked against those by previous teams, Bryant remained diplomatic. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves," he said. "There have been a lot of big teams at the Olympics, posting a lot of big scores but it’s good to be part of history.”

Twenty-four minutes in and the US were already on course for their record-breaking show, having hit 78 points, the most in any half at the Olympics. The team also went on to topple the US record for the most 3-pointers in a game with 26.

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Kobe Bryant prepares to drive on Nigeria's Derrick Obasohan

Kevin Durant scored heavily with 14, while Russell Westbrook hit a mesmerising 21.

The US team were so dominant that they barely ran in the fourth quarter hoping to limit the embarrassment being heaped on their hugely outclassed opponents.

When asked if the team was tempted to go easy in the later stages of the game, Bryant said: “We did but the problem is the guys have got a lot of talent, so even when we stopped running and we took our foot of the gas, the guys were still making their shots.”

"When it clicks like that and we’re firing on all cylinders, it’s great to play in,” he added.

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US number 7 Russell Westbrook finished the game with 21 points

Bryant, who scored seven of his total haul in the first few minutes, was instrumental in the win. Playing in his second Olympics, the 33-year-old said: “We just tried to come out, play hard and stay focused and compete and be effective and it turned out everyone was hot. Everyone kept making shots and it just kind of snowballed.”

However, the Lakers player dismissed parallels with the team of '92. When asked if the result had any bearing on the debate, he said: “I don’t think so. It’s a part of history, but that’s where its stands.”

He added: “I just came out and tried to do the right things defensively, to create turnovers – I was more pleased with the three steals I had but if I have an opportunity I’m going to take it. If you leave me open…”

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Bryant did admit that he'd never seen a team score so freely.

"For everyone to shoot that well in one night,” he said, shaking his head. “We have guys who on their respective teams, if they get hot, you’re going to have a problem. So to have all of us on one team and all of us getting hot on one night…”

Ike Diogu top scored for Nigeria with 27. The US team now faces Lithuania on Saturday.

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