Kevin Durant scored 22 points to go with nine rebounds as the U.S. men’s basketball team beat France, 98-71, in their opening round matchup at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
USA began the game with some sloppy errors, including several turnovers and costly fouls; they would finish the game with 14 total turnovers and 26 fouls.
France, whose team includes six NBA players including former Finals MVP Tony Parker, trailed by only one point at the end of the first quarter. Parker finished the game with 10 points.
USA started the second quarter on an 11-0 run and built their lead up to 16 points by halftime.
The Americans didn’t shoot very well from the field, making only 38 percent of their shots throughout most of the game. But pressure on defense and fast-break points helped propel them to an easy win.
LeBron James only attempted six shots the entire game, but did a fine job facilitating the offense with eight assists, along with 10 points and five rebounds. Kobe Bryant scored 10 points in only 10 minutes of action. Kevin Love added 14 points off the bench for USA.
“It wasn’t perfect. We’ve still got room for improvement,” James told reporters after the game. “We had too many turnovers, too many fouls and we had a couple of defensive rebounds we could have come up with. But overall, we played a pretty good game for as close to 40 minutes as possible.”
USA next faces Tunisia on July 31.