Kyrie Irving co-lead Team USA with 13 points in the American’s 80-45 win vs. Venezuela on Friday night in Chicago. Irving finished 4-7 from the field and went 1-2 from three to go along with one assist.
Klay Thompson also had 13 points for Team USA while John Cox led Venezuela with 14 points.
While Team USA ultimately won by 35 points, this was their first exhibition game where they struggled. Specifically, the Americans never were able to get going from behind the arc and finished just 4-25 from deep. Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, two of the team’s best scorers and three-point shooters, finished a combined 0-9 from deep. Irving and Thompson, in fact, combined to make all four of Team USA’s threes.
Where the Americans dominated the game was ultimately on the boards. Team USA out-rebounded Venezuela 54-29 took Venezuela out of the game and eliminated any chance of an upset.
Venezuela, who recently lost Brooklyn Nets point guard Greivis Vasquez, is in Team USA’s Olympic group and the two teams will play again Aug. 9. Despite their shooting struggles, Friday’s slugglish win doesn’t make the Americans less of a favorite.
Team USA wraps up their pre-Olympic exhibition scheduled on Monday, Aug. 1 in Houston against 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.