US men's basketball blasts Venezuela 113-69 after slow start

"We know that, even with this great team".

Kevin Durant scored 16 points but in an unusual twist, Klay Thompson was held scoreless and went 0/5 from the field.

Gold-medal favorite Team USA and surprising medal contender Australia gun for a 2-0 record in the Group A standings, while France looks to bounce back from their sloppy play on Day 1, as men's basketball action resumes on Monday. Australia has never won an Olympic medal in men's basketball, but Krzyzewski knows the team from Down Under will be up for the Americans. "They feel like they can beat us and we understand that".

"I thought China played really hard, they have a lot of young players and they are getting better and we were good", said United States coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Carmelo Anthony, playing in his US record 25th Olympic game, helped to turn the momentum midway in the second quarter.

Paul George scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler had 17 for the Americans. But Venezuela gave them a scare early by keeping things even in the first quarter, 18-18, before United States of America built a titanic lead in the final three quarters.

This US squad may be more "B Team" than "Dream Team" with many top players, including four-time National Basketball Association most valuable player LeBron James and twice reigning MVP Stephen Curry, deciding to stay home but there has been no noticeable drop in skill or quality. Again, this is going to be an interesting game that features contrasting style of play, but I feel the Serbian have the edge in this one due to their tall, highly-physical frontline. "We're older and more talented and we played really hard and shared the ball".

Jimmy Butler scored 17 - majority coming in extended garbage time - and DeAndre Jordan added 14 and nine rebounds in the first Olympic matchup between the nations.

Venezuela's John Cox, who is Kobe Bryant's first cousin, had a team-high 19 points.

Although this may not be the best made-in-America team as James, Stephen Curry and others chose to skip the first games held in South America for a variety of reasons, the USA squad that came to Brazil appears to be in a class by itself.

"They have a lot of shooters, no?"

Venezuela's coach is Eric Musselma, who famously laid out mousetraps in the Warriors' locker room during a particularly forgettable 38-44 season in 2002-03.

Vanessa Coleman

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