Team USA crushes Argentina to snap 0-2 start

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FLE —  Kevin Durant #7 of the United States during an exhibition game ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 12, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP 

Team USA snapped out of its doldrums with a 108-80 victory over Argentina on Tuesday at Las Vegas to snap its two-game skid in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal each finished with 17 points and six rebounds for Team USA, which bounced back after upset losses to Nigeria and Australia.

Durant scored eight points in the first quarter and finished 6-for-9 from the field.

“I thought we sustained our (stamina) pretty well,” Team USA coach Gregg Popovich said. “Against Australia we competed well, rebounded, played defense, ran the floor and had good pace for a half and then it dissipated for a half. Tonight, we maintained that pretty much throughout the game. Hopefully that’s a sign we’re getting better.”

Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls started for the injured Jayson Tatum (right knee soreness) and finished with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Damian Lillard added 13 points and Bam Adebayo contributed 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Argentina fell to 0-3 in the Olympic exhibition slate. Former NBA player Luis Scola, 41, led the Argentinians with 16 points. Scola played for five NBA teams from 2007-17.

Team USA will next play Australia in a rematch Friday.

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