Kevin Durant Nets 22 Points as Team USA Clobbers France
2012 London Summer Olympics
Kevin Durant scored 22 points and led defending champion Team USA's breakaway in the second period en route to a convincing 98-71 victory over France in its opening game at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena.
Durant also had nine rebounds while Kevin Love added 14 points and Kobe Bryant had 10 for the Americans, who had all 12 players scored in the games.
LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony finished with nine points apiece while Deron Williams issued six assists.
Team USA also forced France into 18 turnovers, which it converted to 20 points, and outrebounded the French, 56-40. Ali Traore led France with 12 points while Tony Parker finished with 10 points.
"We played a very good game against an outstanding team. France is so well-coached and in (Tony) Parker, they have as good of a guard as there is in the tournament. I thought we did a good job defensively," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"We shared the ball. We assisted on 27 of our 31 buckets and we rebounded the ball very well. Overall, it was a good first step or us, beating an outstanding French team," he added.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but that's the beauty of it all," Durant added. "We're all coming together in such a short time. We're having fun playing. Guys don't worry about points, rebounds, assists; we just want to play to win."
The Americans struggled against France's defense in the first quarter as they were limited to just two free throws in the final three minutes and led by just one, 22-21.
But Team USA opened the second period with an 11-0 run, ignited by a three-pointer from James and capped by a long jumper by Chris Paul.
France fought back to within seven points twice before the USA stepped on the gas one again to lead by 52-36 at the half.
USA tasted its biggest lead at 98-69 after Westbrook sank two free throws with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
"We played very well," Bryant said. "In the first quarter we gave up way too many free throws. It made the game a little choppy. It was tough for us to generate some momentum. But then after that we were able to get into a good flow."
The Americans will next face Tunisia.
Kevin Durant Nets 22 Points as Team USA Clobbers France
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