Kevin Durant's first game in Oracle Arena as a Warrior didn't come in a Golden State uniform. Just a few weeks after agreeing to join the 73-win team from last season, Durant debuted in Oakland in his Team USA jersey, stealing the show early in the 107-57 win against China in the Olympics scrimmage on Tuesday.
However, it was Carmelo Anthony, not Durant, who owned the game, dominating with a 20-point performance on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Anthony, playing in his fourth Olympics, has always crushed opponents while playing under FIBA rules and the shorter three-point line. Tuesday was no different.
China hung around for more than half of the first quarter, but it's all it could muster in its second straight scrimmage against the USA. On Sunday, Team USA won 106-57 with Durant ahead of the pack in Los Angeles. More than anything else, Team USA has just physically dominated a smaller China team, using its athleticism to steal passes and score easy dunks in transition while still shutting down the rim. It was a lopsided fight, and for a second straight game, there was nothing China could do to prevent it from happening.
Team USA plays its next scrimmage in Chicago on Friday.
KD in his new home
Durant had a warm welcome in Oakland, as he naturally would.
In response, Durant buried the first shot of the game, a contested triple, and followed it up with a dunk in transition. In fact, the first 10 points of the game were his, even though he only ended up with 13 total for the night. He only needed to play 19 minutes with eight shots, after all.
This is what Durant can and will do when the 2016-17 season rolls around. For Golden State fans, it's exhilarating. For anyone else, it's just a growing sense of dread.
FIBA was made for Melo
Between the shorter three-point line and being surrounded by superstar teammates, Carmelo Anthony has always dominated FIBA play. He's developed a dangerous three-point shot in recent NBA seasons, but let him take a step into the FIBA line and Anthony often can't miss. Let him lock in, like teams often do without any other choice, and you're bound to see him running back to the other side after a made jumper, banging his fingers against his head in his classic three-point celebration.
Durant will likely lead Team USA in scoring, but Anthony should be a close second. And honestly, if he stays as hot as he was in the third quarter on Tuesday, who knows! Maybe he even edges KD.
The greatest missed dunk of all time?
1. DeRozan tried to do this in game.
2. DEROZAN TRIED TO 360 POSTER DUNK SOMEONE DURING A GAME.
3. HI DID YOU SEE DEROZAN TRY TO DUNK ON SOMEONE WHILE SPINNING 360 DEGREES IN THE AIR
I just wanted to make sure you noticed.