Argentina US Basketball

United States' Zach Lavine (5) shoots around Argentina's Juan Pablo Vaulet (22) during the first half of an exhibition basketball game in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — USA Basketball finally made it look easy again. Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal each scored 17 points and the Americans took control from the outset, beating Argentina 108-80 in Las Vegas on Tuesday to avoid what would have been the first three-game losing streak in this era of NBA players being able to represent USA Basketball on the international stage. Zach LaVine scored 15 points for the U.S., which lost its first two games in Las Vegas to Nigeria and Australia. The Americans shot 51%, scored 33 first-quarter points to get off and running and beat Argentina for the 10th consecutive time since a loss at the 2004 Athens Olympics. “It was better,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “Bit by bit, every day, I hope.” Damian Lillard scored 13 points and Bam Adebayo finished with 12 points, five assists and five rebounds for the U.S.

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