Yes, the United States men's basketball team came away with another convincing win, but it wasn't in dominant fashion. Of course, that is relative -- Team USA under-performed, especially offensively, but still came out with an 80-45 win against Venezuela in Chicago.
It wasn't a good sign for Venezuela that the names on their uniforms were coming off minutes into the game. They hadn't even scored a basket at that point.
Defense was a consistent theme throughout the game, but it was Team USA's shooting that had fans scratching their heads. Despite having a roster with several players who can light it up from long range, the U.S. struggled shooting from distance. Team USA ended the night with 4-of-25 three-point shooting. A paltry 16 percent from beyond the arc won't be effective in Rio, but it also may not happen again.
It was the USA's rebounding that helped it maintain the small lead (at least in comparison to their leads against China) in the first half. Definitely comfortable with double-digit leads, the squad was up by only eight points at the end of the first quarter. A 54-29 rebounding total eroded the idea that Venezuela would cut down that lead even further.
The story for Venezuela was John Cox, son of former CBA and NBA player Chubby Cox, who put up 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Team USA did manage to close out the game in style with a precision alley-oop from Jimmy Butler.
USA failed to reach triple-digit scoring for the first time in their exhibition games. They previously won with 111, 106 and 107, respectively. Still, they did win by 35 points. Having a game with so many struggles, yet maintaining a lead as great as this one, might be a wake-up call for them to improve their offense before Rio.
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