The exhibition game against Venezuela on Friday night was the United States’ second to last before Olympic play begins. And they looked iffy. Although there was shakiness on offense, the defense was fantastic, as they held the Venezuelans to just 45 points on 24 percent shooting, and were +6 in the turnover battle.
On offensive, the Americans struggled mightily from three, finishing just 4/25 (16 percent) from downtown. Their leading scorers were Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, who each had 13 and combined to shoot 9/17. All the other players — except Paul George, who didn’t see the floor — chipped in at least four points, and the team overall was exceptional from inside the three-point line.
Taking away all their shots from deep, the United States finished 24/41 (58.5 percent) from inside the arc and hit 20 of their 32 free throw attempts. In typical fashion, they dominated the glass, with DeMarcus Cousins collecting 12 of the team’s 54 total rebounds. Cousins and Jimmy Butler also combined for ten of the 21 offensive rebounds; by the end of the game, the U.S. had a +25 rebounding margin.
John Cox, a former player at the University of San Francisco and a cousin of Kobe Bryant, led the Venezuelan team with 14 points on 6/12 shooting; Jose Vargas was the second leading scorer with eight on 3/12 shooting.
The Americans have one more game before the start of the Olympics, which kick off a week from today on August 6. Their last game will be against the Nigerian national team on August 1 at 7 PM CST in Houston.
Data courtesy of USAB
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