China given another lesson as Team USA school tourists in second Rio Games warm-up
The hosts put on another master class in a 107-57 exhibition victory over China in California
The USA, hitting their stride ahead of their bid for a third straight Olympic men’s basketball gold, put on another master class on Tuesday in a 107-57 exhibition victory over China in Oakland, California.
The rout was a coming out party for Kevin Durant at Oracle Arena, home of his new team the Golden State Warriors.
Durant rocked the NBA with his decision to forsake the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors as a free agent, and he received a rapturous welcome from his new home fans.
“KD” received a thunderous ovation during the pre-game introductions – the cheers reverberating even longer than those for established Warriors stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Durant drained a three-point jump shot seven seconds into the contest and followed that with a dunk as he scored the first 10 points for the Americans.
He finished with 13 in a game in which the US took charge just as firmly as they had in a 106-57 win over China in Los Angeles on Sunday.
DeMarcus Cousins led the US with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony, at 32 the oldest man in the squad and a veteran of their last two victorious Olympic campaigns as well as a bronze-medal showing in 2004, added 20 points, 16 of them in the third quarter.
The Americans connected on precisely half their shots, 36 of 72, from the field and held China to 40 per cent shooting.
The two teams will meet in earnest on August 6 in Rio de Janeiro, in the Olympic opener for both.
Zhou Qi, the towering 2.17m (7ft 1in) 20-year-old drafted in June by the Houston Rockets, bounced back from a two-point effort on Sunday to lead China with 13 points.
Zhou Peng and Guo Ailun chipped in 11 apiece. Yi Jianlian, the most recognisable of China’s current players in North America thanks to five seasons in the NBA, didn’t play after leading China with 18 points on Sunday.
The United States continue their warm-up tour on Friday against Venezuela, who are drawn in the same Olympic first-round group with the US, China, Australia, France and Serbia.
The Americans will play Nigeria in Houston on Monday before heading to Rio.