In its second exhibition matchup leading up to the 2016 Olympics, USA Basketball put a 49-point beatdown on China on Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
USA center DeAndre Jordan got the fans off their feet within the first 20 seconds of the game with a block on one end and an alley-oop slam from point guard Kyle Lowry on the other, giving USA the first points of the contest.
However, the baskets at Staples Center seemed to have a lid on them early on as both teams started off sluggish. USA began the game 1-of-9 from the field and found themselves tied with China at 7-7. China guard Zhao JiWei gave China some early hope as he had five early points, including a stepback three-pointer, which drew some oohs and aahs from the stands.
Despite struggling early, USA picked up the pace. Sparked by Kevin Durant’s nine points off the bench in the first quarter, USA finished the quarter on a 19-6 run.
USA outscored China 29-16 in the second quarter. Bench play was key for USA in the first half as DeMarcus Cousins scored 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the half and Durant added 14 points. Kyrie Irving scooped in a buzzer-beating layup to end the half as USA headed into the locker room with a 55-29 lead.
USA kicked things off in the scoring column the same way it did in the first half– a monster alley-oop jam by Jordan. Only this time, the assist man was forward Draymond Green. USA outscored China again in the third quarter. USA’s 23-9 advantage in the third was highlighted by yet another alley-oop between Lowry and Jordan. Midway through the quarter , Lowry lobbed an inbounds pass from the baseline to Jordan, who let loose on the rim with a thunderous slam, increasing USA’s lead to 28 points. USA went into the fourth with a 78-38 advantage.
Already facing a 40-point deficit to start the final quarter, China could not do much to stop the onslaught as USA cruised to a 106-57 victory. With this victory, USA has outscored its opponents by an average of 43 points in the last two games.
USA had six players to score in double figures. Cousins and Jordan both scored 12 points. Irving added 10 points off the bench and DeRozan scored 13. Klay Thompson scored 17 and shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Durant had a game-high 19 points.
JiWei scored 14 points for China. Yi Jianlian, a former 2007 1st-round pick by the Milwaukee Bucks and current CBA star, had 18 points and 7 rebounds.
China, who was last in assists at the 2012 London Olympics, had just 9 assists, 20 less than what USA had in the game. USA outrebounded China 38-26.
The two teams will meet again in a matchup on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Start time is 10 p.m. ET. Tuesday’s exhibition will be the final meeting between the two teams before they play on Saturday, August 6 in their first preliminary game of the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.