• US opens Rio prep with 111-74 win over Argentina

    0
    Kevin Durant No.5 of the United States sets up a play against Argentina during a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO

    Kevin Durant No.5 of the United States sets up a play against Argentina during a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: Kevin Durant scored 23 points and DeMarcus Cousins pulled down 15 rebounds as the United States cruised past Argentina 111-74 in their first tune-up for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    The United States will be favored to win a third straight Olympic gold medal under coach Mike Krzyzewski, despite the absence of such NBA stars as LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

    Plenty of NBA talent remains, and it was on full view on Friday (Saturday in Manila) in Las Vegas.

    Paul George, the Indiana Pacers star returning to US duty after suffering a career-threatening broken leg in the build-up to the 2014 World Cup, added 18 points off the bench for the Americans, who were playing together after four days of training.

    By halftime, the United States led 56-33, unsettling Argentina with their defensive pressure.

    Carmelo Anthony had three steals and Cousins two in the first 20 minutes and the USA parlayed 23 turnovers into 36 points.

    Andres Nocioni led Argentina with 15 points. San Antonio Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili added 11 and Luis Scola 10.

    Argentina toughened up in the third quarter, surrendering just two turnovers and allowing the hosts just one offensive rebound.

    But the United States out-scored Argentina 24-8 in the first six minutes of the fourth period.

    The game was the first of five exhibitions that Team USA will play over 11 days prior to heading for Rio.

    They will play China twice, on Sunday in Los Angeles and on Tuesday in Oakland before taking on Venezuela in Chicago and Nigeria in Houston.

    Team USA will again face China in both teams’ first game in Rio on August 6 and Venezuela is also drawn in the same preliminary group along with Australia, France and Serbia.

    Since adding NBA talent to its squads starting in the 1992 Olympics, US teams have gone 48-1 in Olympic preliminary-round play, the lone defeat to Italy in 2004.

    AFP

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    Comments are closed.