LOS ANGELES (AP) – Just two games into the US basketball team’s pre-Olympic tour, coach Mike Krzyzewski already sees the start of something big.
Kevin Durant scored 19 points, Klay Thompson added 17 and the Americans rolled to a second straight blowout exhibition victory, 106-57 over China on Sunday night.
DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points in his hometown, and DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and seven rebounds in the second stop on the five-city tour leading the Americans to Rio de Janeiro. The victory over an overmatched opponent was impressive, but Krzyzewski liked it more for the composed, cohesive manner in which the new teammates worked together.
“We should have won, but the way we won was excellent,’’ Krzyzewski said. “We’re really growing together as a group.’’
After opening their showcase tour by trouncing Argentina in Las Vegas on Friday night, the US team posted another rout at a packed Staples Center. Krzyzewski is finding it difficult to disguise his early optimism, praising his team’s work in their brief practice time together.
And while they’re still learning their teammates’ tendencies and solidifying player rotations, the US team looked remarkably connected for long stretches against China, which has no current NBA players.
Durant noticed it, as did Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who kicked off the festivities by blocking a shot on China’s first possession and throwing down an alley-oop dunk on the Americans’ first possession.