Team USA opened up exhibition play against Argentina, cruising to a 111-74 victory in Las Vegas. The men's team dominated inside early to build a comfortable advantage and a late flurry in the fourth helped blow the game wide open after Argentina had pushed early in the third. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 points, hitting four three pointers to go along with five from Carmelo Anthony.
Offensive rebounding was a huge key for Team USA, winning the battle 21-5, leading to a 26-6 advantage in second chance points. DeMarcus Cousins had seven of his 14 rebounds and 12 points. While Durant led all scorers at the end of the game, the honor went to Paul George for much of the night, as the Indiana Pacers star scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting.
George had his versatility on display in the exhibition game, spending time in every position, bringing the ball up on offense and switching to center on defense. George had a pair of steals which helped Team USA's transition game, on where George was able to cherry pick a trio of dunks off of Argentine turnovers. George was 2-6 from three point range (his only four misses of the game), also displaying a good floater for two of his baskets.
With Anthony and Durant manning the starting forward spots, George took on the sixth man role, becoming the focus of the second unit that helped Team USA open things up against Argentina. The game to game roles of players will likely evolve, but the two-way talent of George will be invaluable to the team as they work towards the Rio Games.
Despite the lopsided score, the Americans were far from perfect. Small things like miscues on alley-oops, a terrible effort early in the third quarter defensively, and a lackluster showing from three point range, a 35% night that was helped along by late-game shooting from Durant and Anthony were some of the things to work on, but in reality, these struggles likely don't need to improve to see a gold medal outcome.
After the game, George admitted working through a number of emotions returning to the court in Las Vegas for the national team, but relied on the support of his teammates to help make his return a successful one. Team USA's next exhibition game will be Sunday night at 8 p.m. Eastern in the first of a back-to-back against China.