Ominous: USA romp past China in Olympic Games basketball warm-up in Los Angeles
The hosts won 106-57 in a friendly played at the Staples Centre ahead of another meeting between the sides in Oakland on Tuesday
The USA, warming up for a run at their third straight Olympic Games men’s basketball gold, romped to a 106-57 friendly victory over China on Sunday.
The game at Staples Centre, home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, was a preview of the teams’ scheduled August 6 clash in Rio de Janeiro in the first round opener.
Kevin Durant, who rocked the NBA with his recent decision to depart Oklahoma City Thunder for rivals Golden State via free agency, came off the bench to lead the USA with 19 points.
Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson contributed 17 points, also off the bench.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 25, 2016
Yi Jianlian, now plying his trade in the Chinese Basketball Association after playing for four teams in five NBA seasons, led China with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Yi earned most valuable player honours in the Asia Championship last October, leading China to a victory over the Philippines in the final that secured their Olympic berth.
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Guo Ailun, another key piece of that unbeaten Asia Championship team, scored five points and pulled down five rebounds.
Zhou Qi, the towering 7ft 1in 20-year-old drafted in June by the Houston Rockets, was limited to two points in just under 19 minutes off the bench.
But Sunday’s result showed how much work China have left to do, and how heavily favoured the United States must be to capture another Olympic crown.
The United States seized control from the opening tip and led 55-29 at half-time.
China connected on just 30.9 per cent of their shots, and 26 Chinese turnovers led to 36 US points.
DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points for the US and DeMarcus Cousins added 12 points and seven rebounds.
— NBA (@NBA) July 25, 2016
The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan chipped in a dozen points and blocked three shots – including a block on China’s first possession.
The game was the second of five exhibitions scheduled over 11 days prior to Team USA’s departure for Rio.
They cruised past Argentina 111-74 on Friday and will take on China again on Tuesday in Oakland before playing Venezuela in Chicago and Nigeria in Houston.
Venezuela is also in the first round group with the USA, China, Australia, France and Serbia.