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The U.S. Men Score Their Second Olympic Win Against Venezuela

Kevin Durant. (

Kevin Durant. (


On August 8, in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (2-0) had fans worried at the start of the game. They found themselves tied with Venezuela (0-2) 18-18 at the end of the first quarter. They showed everyone what they were capable of with a 24-4 second-quarter run that led to a 113-69.

The U.S. tied its men’s Olympic record for free throws made by making 32-of-38 foul shots. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers scored 20 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and led five of the U.S. players in double-digits, contributing to America’s 70 points off of the bench.

In the first quarter, the score was tied three times and the lead changed six times. Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors scored the first seven points for the U.S., although him, along with DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings and George, were whistled for two fouls. Durant got his two fouls within 7:25 minutes of play. Cousins got his two fouls in only 1:59 and George in 5:00 minutes.

Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls shot a three with just 8.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter, giving the USA an 18-16 lead, but Venezuela was able to make two free throws with only 2.4 seconds left to make it 18-all at the first quarter break. With the USA’s lead at two points, 24-22, with 7:34 to play before the half, America closed the half with a 24-4 run to lead the game 48-26. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks scored 10 of his 14 points in the second period.

The USA got a quick six points to start the third quarter and led Venezuela by 28 points, 54-26. Venezuela fought back and the U.S. was only leading by two points in the period to make it 75-51 headed into the final quarter. The USA hurried to 38 points in the fourth quarter while Venezuela only had 18.  This secured the 113-69 win. Along with George’s 14 points in the fourth, Butler had eight points and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors gave four of his nine assists in the game.

America’s largest lead of the game was at 47 points. This came about with 1:21 left on the clock with two free throws from Barnes (4-4 FTs), who was one of five players who were perfect from the free throw line. Anthony, Cousins and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors were 2-of-2 from the line as well as Durant being a perfect 5-of-5 from the field , contributing 16 points and five assists. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers had 14 points and nine rebounds.

The U.S. men continue the preliminary round against Australia at 6 p.m. (all times EDT) on Aug. 10, followed by Serbia at 6 p.m. on Aug. 12 and a final preliminary game against France at 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 14. The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 17. The semifinals will be played on Aug. 19, and the finals are on Aug. 21.

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