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USA men' s basketball team gets taste of tough international competition

07-24-2012 12:45 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

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The USA men’s basketball team finally got a taste of tough international competition on Sunday. The squad took on Argentina in its latest Olympic warmup at Barcelona. Argentina’s ranked second in the world, and played even par with the Americans with less than a week to go before the start of the London Games.

Barcelona was the site of the Dream Team’s debut, the 1992 history-making squad of NBA stars that won Olympic gold, the USA players wore that team’s throwback uniforms and got off to a hot start.

Kevin Durant and Chris Paul drained 3-pointers. Kobe Bryant would add another difficult three. The North Americans had a 19-3 lead midway through the first period of play.

In the second period, the South Americans started their comeback. Andres Nocioni cut through the land to nab an easy two.

Carlos Delfino, scoring in the face of Camelo Anthony. That basket cut the deficit to 10. The Milwaukee Bucks guard would grab 15 for the night.

Third period, Durant drove into the paint and drew the defense away from LeBron James. LBJ with a big-time deuce. He also scored 15 points in the match.

More from James a minute later and here’s where it became a little less friendly. Manu Ginobili dragged him down hard. LeBron was stopped on the break with a hard foul.

Argentina’s Pablo Prigioni made a big three with four minutes to go, and the challenge against Team USA continued.

Ginobili stepped out for a floater and the lead was down to five. He would score 23 points, but Argentina fell short. The USA won the game 86-80, and meet Spain for its final warmup on Tuesday.

The Spanish Olympic squad is packed with NBA veterans, and could give the USA its hardest competition in London.

Kobe Bryant, the guard, said, "It was fun. It was a good game, a competitive game. We made a lot of mistakes but Argentina played extremely well."

Chris Paul, the guard of USA men’s basketball team, said, "We’re getting better game by game. And these are great warm up games to get ready for London. We know we will be more ready when we play over there."

Manu Ginobili, the guard of Argentina Men’s Basketball Team said, "We still have room for improvement. I think that tonight we played a lot better. Like the game against Spain, we committed the same mistake of not starting with the right

mindset. But we’ve improved a lot in other aspects. Like the defensive rotations, gathering people in the goal, and we won in the rebounds against a team like USA."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CNTV.CN

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