Team USA wanted to silence their critics and they did so as they start their 2012 London Olympics campaign with a bang, clobbering France, 98-71, on Sunday night.
Kevin Durant was in his usual deadly offensive form as he finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Love finished with 14 markers to go with three boards for USA, who were threatened early in the game.
France, who said that they have what it takes to beat USA, seemed to have proven that in the opening period after trailing by just a point after the first 10 minutes, but that’s that only bright spot for them for the whole night.
With them leading by just a precarious point, USA started to impose their will in the second period to build as 16-point half-time lead and never looked back for the rest of the way en route to the impressive win.
“It wasn’t perfect,” said Team USA forward LeBron James about their performance. “We’ve still got room for improvement. We had too many turnovers, too many fouls and we had a couple of defensive rebounds we could have come up with. But overall, we played a pretty good game for as close to 40 minutes as possible.”
Kobe Bryant also had his share of the spotlight despite playing for just 12 minutes as he ended up with 10 points, while James finished with nine points to go with eight assists and five rebounds for USA, who had an 18-rebound advantage against the French squad.
Ali Traore, on the other hand, had 12 points and five rebounds, while Tony Parker added 10 points for France, who were simply outclassed by a much-talented and deeper Team USA Squad.
“That team is like a Gemini,” said France forward Ronny Turiaf on Team USA. “They have two faces, a nightmare-nightmare.”
France will try to bounce back on Tuesday when they go up against Argentina, while Team USA are tipped to easily dispatch Tunisia in their next game.