The United States continued to coast in their first exhibition game against the Dominican Republic, turning a 23-point halftime lead into a complete blowout and winning by 54, 113-59.
Team USA played suffocating defense and, after a few minutes, seemed to just be having fun on offense; sometimes spreading the floor and hitting threes, and sometimes out-athleteing the Dominican squad with pretty takes, passes and finishes.
Although the score got out of hand, Team USA never really relented, even as Kevin Durant led the way offensively with 24 points and also contributed on the glass by racking 10 boards for a double-double. Andre Iguodala also had a nice offensive contribution, showing his worth with four three-pointers to finish with 18 points.
It was never really close in the second half, and a 15-1 run even extended that. Highlights of the third quarter included some Thunder specials: an alley-oop from James Harden to Durant and two Russell Westbrook defensive plays that resulted in jam opportunities -- one a slam for Iguodala, the other a blown dunk by Westbrook. Highlights of the fourth quarter included the American bench squad building some rapport and continuing to dominate while LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and the team's other superstars sat back and watched while their just-plain-old-regular stars coasted to an enormous lead.
Even Anthony Davis, who may or may not be playing in the Olympics, got some significant run toward the end of the game as the scoreline became irrelevant. He even turned some heads by nailing a three and getting fouled for a four-point play, yelling at his former coach John Calipari on the Dominican bench. The rising rookie looks like he could provide the squad some quality center minutes should Blake Griffin's injury keep him out of the games.
We can expect more of this from the United States through the tournament. Some fun facts:
- Latest time doubling up the Dominican Republic: USA leading 88-44
- Amount of time spent by the crowd doing the wave: significantly too much (statistic not official)
- Age of high-schooler Karl Towns, who saw some late game minutes for the Dominican Republic: 1
So that's a wrap on that. The United States didn't really show too much stylistically, except that they know how to murder a zone defense, will be able to play small, and plan on pressuring the heck out of the ball, including some full-court press.
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