Durant leads the way for the US

US 119


Kevin Durant scored 25 points as the United States' NBA stars routed China 119-62 yesterday morning (Singapore time) to launch their bid for a third consecutive Olympic basketball gold.

The former Oklahoma City forward, who joins Golden State this upcoming season, added a game-high six assists for the Americans - who set an all-time US record of 33 free-throws made.

Australia opened the Olympic competition earlier in the day with an 87-66 win over France, while Serbia topped Venezuela 86-62 in the other Group A match.

The US missed their first five shots but soon displayed the unrivalled depth and long-range shooting that makes them favourites to secure a 15th overall men's title.

The Americans thoroughly dominated despite signs that the recently assembled unit have yet to completely gel.

"It still can be better and that's what makes us scary," said New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. "We wanted to send a message to the rest of the world that we mean business."

Led by 25 points from former NBA lottery pick Yi Jianlian, China put up a spirited effort, showing they could cause trouble for other teams.

China, who have never finished higher than eighth, tried to slow the American onslaught with physicality, a strategy that kept US players parked at the free-throw line.

The Americans made 33 from the line, besting a 56-year-old team record of 32. - AFP.

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