posted on July 30, 2012 11:31
Durant scores 22 points in victory
It wasn't pretty and they weren't as dominant as the "Dream Team" but the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team got the job done on Sunday.
Kevin Durant scored 22 points, LeBron James added eight assists and the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team opened tournament play with a 98-71 win over France on Sunday from London.
The U.S. men are seeking a second straight gold medal to match the one they won in Beijing four years ago. The Americans expected a tough test from a French team featuring San Antonio guard Tony Parker and five other NBA players.
But they were never in real trouble, and after overcoming some major foul issues and sloppy play, the superstar-laden squad finally put France away in the second half.
Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler added nine rebounds apiece and Kevin Love finished with 14 points for the Americans, who were playing in front of First Lady Michelle Obama. The U.S. will next play Tuesday against Tunisia, beaten 60-56 by Nigeria in the tournament opener.
The U.S. team's lead ballooned to 78-51 after three quarters, allowing coach Mike Krzyzewski to rest Bryant, James and Durant for most of the fourth quarter. With the game well in hand, Krzyzewski even gave 19-year-old Anthony Davis, the top pick in June's NBA draft, his first taste of Olympic play.