The first game for the 2012 USA Men’s Basketball team is in the books. They throttled their opponent, France, 98-71. Kevin Durant and LeBron James were brilliant for the US, leading them to an easy victory. Great defense led the way to the USA’s blowout of France. Team USA seems destined for Gold.The game was closer than expected in the beginning. The US had only a one-point lead after the first quarter. Both teams didn’t shoot the ball well from the three-point line and a lot of fouls were being called both ways, leading to a choppy first quarter.
Slowly, the US began to build its lead little by little. In the second, they started connecting on three-point attempts, ballooning the lead out to 16 points at halftime, 52-36. The US started the third quarter off hot, nailing two three-pointers and James connecting with Tyson Chandler on an alley-oop. France continued to miss jumpshot after jumpshot, the US making them pay for every miss. Even when France scored, the US was right back on the attack.
At the end of the third quarter, the US had blown the game wide open, 78-51.
The two teams played the fourth quarter even, both resting the majority of their starters and giving other players a chance to play. The final score could have been a bigger margin but the US got sloppy and committed seven turnovers in the final period.
In the end, the US ran away with this game. Durant led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds, James finished with nine points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Kevin Love came off the bench to score 14 points and Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook each added nine. Tony Parker was the only French starter to score in double-figures (10) and reserve Ali Traore led the team with 12 points.
France was competing in the Olympics for the first time since their Silver Medal finish in the 2000 Games. They sported eight players who have either played in or are currently playing in the NBA.
It wasn’t enough to overcome Team USA.
Team USA will take on Tunisia on Tuesday.