Team USA showed precisely why they're the overwhelming favorite heading into the Olympics during their tune-up in Barcelona against Argentina, but they also showed where they'll be vulnerable -- inside -- during a number of Argentinian runs. Argentina cut the USA lead to 78-74 in the fourth quarter before Kevin Durant and Chris Paul hit three-pointers to put the game out of reach. Team USA would go on to win, 86-80.
Durant was the unquestioned star of this game -- which might be something we'll all have to get used to in London -- scoring 28 points, hitting seven three-pointers and dishing out six assists. Kobe Bryant added 18 points of his own. While LeBron James had a nice alley-oop and showed flashes, he did little to assert his will inside. The Americans shot 34 three-pointers as a team, many of them uncontested, which was the likely reason behind the swings in momentum during this game.
The Argentinians packed the paint and Tyson Chandler got in foul trouble, so there was no Team USA center available for much of the game. The U.S. faces Spain on Tuesday, a team that features the brothers Pau and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, in what is anticipated to be a preview of the gold medal game yet again.
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