After a dicey start, Team USA finally got it together to blow out Venezuela 113-69 in their second game of the opening round at the Rio Olympics. The Americans were mired in sloppy overall play early on, getting out-hustled by the Venezuelan team en route to an 18-18 tie at the end of the opening quarter. Venezuela held a 14-10 advantage on the boards at one point in the first half and forced the U.S. into six turnovers and poor shooting from the field.
But like clockwork, the Americans turned on the jets in the second quarter, going on a blistering 30-8 run to take a 48-26 lead into halftime. The U.S. got a balanced offensive effort all around with five players scoring in double digits. In the process, Carmelo Anthony (14 points) made history by overtaking Michael Jordan for third all-time in scoring for Team USA.
Paul George led the way with 20 points on hyper-efficient shooting, going 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from downtown, and DeAndre Jordan added a big double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant was a perfect 5-of-5 overall, including 2-of-2 from behind the arc for 16 points, and Jimmy Butler chipped in 17 points of his own.
The Americans were not without their struggles, however. Klay Thompson had a horrendous outing, going 0-of-5 from the field (0-of-4 from three), while DeMarcus Cousins scored just five points before fouling out.
The U.S. will get its first ostensible challenge on Wednesday when they match up against Australia, who had a stunning upset victory over France in their opening game, then followed that up with a gritty win over Serbia on Monday.