The USA Basketball team that will head to the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey at the end of August has yet to be pared down to its final roster, but a rough facsimile had few problems with France in an exhibition played at Madison Square Garden as part of the World Basketball Festival. The USA team defeated France, 86-55, with the Denver Nuggets' Chauncey Billups and Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo leading the way.
It was a tight game in the first half, with France able to slow the Americans as Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who went 0-for-5 in the first quarter, struggled from the field. But Billups, who was named Player of the Game, heated up in the second half, giving the Americans their first double-digit lead with a three-pointer early in the third quarter and scoring nine of his 17 points in the period. And the USA squad proved it was deeper and more talented than a less-than-optimal French team—one without Tony Parker, who watched from courtside—pulling away for a comfortable victory.
The Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay led the Americans with 19 points. Durant added 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Americans were playing with a 13-man roster for the first time in their preparation for the FIBA tournament, having announced the cuts of Oklahoma City's Jeff Green and the Washington Wizards' JaVale McGee before the game. USA Basketball will have to trim one more player to meet FIBA's 12-man requirement.