U.S. men’s basketball team routs China in exhibition
Two games into the U.S. basketball team’s pre-Olympic tour, coach Mike Krzyzewski sees the start of something big.
Kevin Durant scored 19 points, his Warriors teammate Klay Thompson added 17 and the Americans rolled to a second straight exhibition rout, 106-57 over China on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points in his hometown, and DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and seven rebounds in the second stop on the five-city tour leading the Americans to Rio de Janeiro. The victory over an overmatched opponent was impressive, but Krzyzewski liked it more for the composed, cohesive manner in which his team worked.
“We should have won, but the way we won was excellent,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re really growing together as a group.”
After opening their showcase tour by trouncing Argentina in Las Vegas on Friday night, the U.S. posted another romp, at packed Staples Center.
And though they’re still learning their teammates’ tendencies and solidifying player rotations, the Americans looked connected for long stretches against China, which has no current NBA players.
Durant noticed it, as did Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who opened the festivities by blocking a shot on China’s first possession and then throwing down an alley-oop dunk.
“We’ve only been together a week, but it seems like we’ve been teammates for years,” Jordan said.
Jordan scored 12 points and led a strong defensive effort with three blocks for the Americans, who held the Chinese to 30.9 percent shooting.
Durant, one of the two returning American gold medalists from London, heard boos from the L.A. crowd in pregame introductions. He found his outside stroke with 14 points and four assists in the first half, and Cousins overpowered the Chinese down low for 12 first-half points on the way to a 55-29 halftime lead.
The Chinese team’s most recognizable name to North Americans is Yi Jianlian, the Milwaukee Bucks’ choice with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He spent five seasons with four NBA teams before heading back to the Guangdong Southern Tigers. He led China with 18 points.
Housing not ready: The head of Australia’s delegation said its 700 athletes and staff would not move into rooms in Rio de Janeiro for at least two days, citing electrical and plumbing problems in the Athletes Village less than two weeks before the start of the troubled Games.
“Electricity and water is not a good combination,” Kitty Chiller, the head of the Australian delegation, told reporters.
This comes as the sprawling 31-building village, which will house 18,000 athletes and officials, opened with some athletes expected to arrive.