RIO DE JANEIRO — Though things were a little more interesting than usual early on, the United States’ Men’s National Team continued its dominance of weak competition on Monday, improving to 2-0 at the Olympics with a 113-69 victory over Venezuela.
With the U.S. committing nine fouls and six turnovers in the first 10 minutes, Venezuela led 16-15 late in the first quarter and the score was tied at 20 a minute into the second. But the U.S. defense clamped down defensively at that point, holding Venezuela to just two points on a nine-possession stretch that created some separation. The Americans then scored 22 points on their final 10 possessions of the half to complete a 30-8 second quarter and take a 48-26 lead into the half.
The U.S. started the same lineup — Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and DeMarcus Cousins — as it did in Saturday’s win over China. But Cousins picked up two early fouls and fouled out in less than nine minutes of action.
Paul George led five U.S. players in double-figures with 20 points (on 6-for-7 shooting), capping the win with an emphatic dunk with less than three minutes to go. Durant scored 16 points on just five shots.
Anthony’s 14 points gave him 262 for his Olympic career and pushed him past Michael Jordan (256) for third on the U.S. Men’s all-time Olympic scoring list. He trails only LeBron James (273) and David Robinson (270) and will likely pass both this week. Thompson shot 0-for-5 and is now 1-for-11 at the Olympics.
The U.S. is now 132-5 in Olympic competition and has a 47-game winning streak in international tournaments. The level of competition will take a step up for the Americans on Wednesday, when they face Australia, which has opened the Olympics with impressive wins over France and Serbia.