LONDON: Kevin Durant scored 22 points to lead the US team of NBA stars over France 98-71 in their opening game of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament. Durant, the reigning NBA scoring champion, produced two electrifying back-to-back slam dunks in the early minutes in a game that became a romp after the opening quarter. The Americans improved to 55-1 in international play since revamping their programme after settling for a shocking bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Kevin Love added 14 points for the NBA multi-millionaire squad while Kobe Bryant had 10 points and James and Carmelo Anthony each scored nine. Ali Traore led France with 12 points while San Antonio Spurs playmaker Tony Parker added 10 in the Group A round-robin opener. The French were trounced despite having enough NBA talent in the likes of Parker, captain Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.