Paris Olympics

Team USA starts slowly, tops Canada in pre-Olympic opener


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Team USA starts slowly, tops Canada in pre-Olympic opener

STAR POWER. Steph Curry high fives LeBron James during Team USA's pre-Olympic game against Canada.


A star-studded Team USA gets back at Canada in the pre-Olympic opener, almost a year after losing their bronze-medal match in the FIBA World Cup in Manila

Anthony Edwards scored 13 points, Stephen Curry added 12, and Anthony Davis posted a double-double as Team USA topped Canada, 86-72, on Wednesday, July 10, in a men’s basketball exhibition in Las Vegas.

Jrue Holiday had 11 points, Bam Adebayo grabbed 7 rebounds, and Tyrese Haliburton contributed 6 assists to help Team USA improve to 35-3 in pre-Olympic exhibition games all-time.

A size advantage allowed Team USA to pull away against its neighbors – and rivals – to the north.

Wednesday marked the first meeting between the nations since Canada topped the US, 127-118, in overtime last September 10 in the bronze-medal game at the FIBA World Cup in Manila, Philippines.

Davis had 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 of Team USA’s 9 blocks. Team USA limited Canada to 33.8% shooting while hitting 50.7% from the floor.

RJ Barrett (12 points), Dillon Brooks (10), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (10) finished in double figures for Canada.

Both teams battled early inconsistency, although the US squad took longer to shake the rust in its first tune-up before the Paris Games. Team USA fell behind 11-1 midway through the first quarter and didn’t connect on its first field goal until Curry drilled a three-pointer at the 5:25 mark, ending a run of 7 US misses to start the game.

“We’ve only practiced for a few days,” US coach Steve Kerr said during an in-game interview on FS1, “so we’ve got a lot to tighten up… We’ll get there. It’s just going to take some time.”

The US took a 41-33 halftime lead, overcoming 11 first-half turnovers behind 52.9% shooting and a plus-17 edge on the glass.

Edwards and Jayson Tatum had 8 points at the break to match Brooks, while Davis snagged 7 rebounds.

Kevin Durant, Team USA’s all-time leading scorer in Olympic play, missed the game due to calf soreness. Team USA elected to send Kawhi Leonard home from training camp as he contends with a knee injury amid preparation for the NBA season. His replacement, Derrick White, has not yet joined the team.

Four exhibitions remain for Team USA before they play their Olympic opener on July 28 against Serbia in Lille, France. The US squad is set to face Team Australia on Monday, July 15, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. –

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