CHICAGO — The U.S. men's basketball team continued its Olympic exhibition tour Friday with an 80-45 victory over overmatched Venezuela.
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Despite the score line, the U.S. was not impressive. The team full of NBA All-Stars looked sluggish on offense, which led to miscommunication and inexcusable turnovers. The nearly sold-out United Center crowd had very little to cheer about in this defensive struggle.
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DeAndre Jordan did give them a chance to rise to their feet in the fourth quarter when he threw down a monster slam, hanging on the rim for desired effect.
Another View Of Kevin Durant Alley Oop To DeAndre Jordan https://t.co/ub218BDYYx
— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) July 30, 2016
The Clippers center finished with eight points and six rebounds.
Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson led the team's balanced scoring attack with 13 points apiece. Irving added three rebounds but had just one assist. He needs to be a more consistent floor general if this team is going to reach its full potential in Rio.
"I'm using these extra games to kind of get re-acclimated to the game of basketball," Irving said after the game. "I'm just trying to take full advantage of (the situation). I had three weeks off and then I had to come straight to camp, so I'm just looking to get back to running up and down the court."
Thompson came to life in the final quarter, but Venezuela had already admitted defeat by then. His new Warriors teammate Kevin Durant struggled to find his rhythm, scoring just nine points.
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"The 3s will go in for us," Durant said. "If not, like tonight, our bigs will do a great job kicking the ball out to set up out offense. We just played great defense tonight, which will be key for us moving forward."
Everyone on the U.S. roster scored at least one basket. Draymond Green was the last player to score, late in the fourth quarter.
Hometown Bulls star Jimmy Butler was an obvious fan favorite. Though his role is more defensive on this team than it is with the Bulls, Butler knocked down a long shot and threw down a big dunk in the fourth quarter to make fans in attendance happy. He finished the game with four points and eight rebounds.
"It was good to be back in Chicago," Butler said after the game. "New team, obviously with USA, but I thought we played well. We missed some shots, but that's part of the game. I thought we played great defensively and really rebounded the ball well."
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Venezuela point guard John Cox scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half. Cox looked like the best player on the floor at times while the U.S. eased into the game. He wa