Yesterday, in an exhibition “game” hosted at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Team USA defeated Team China by a score of 106-57.
For the Americans, Kevin Durant led the way with 19 points, while his future Warriors teammate Klay Thompson added another 17 points. For China’s squad, the box score wasn’t quite so pretty. Former NBA player Yi Jianlian contributed 18 points along with 7 rebounds, while 20-year-old guard Zhao Jiwei had 14 points, including this spectacular crossover, hesitation move and layup on Kevin Durant.
However, China’s two newest draftees, Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin, didn’t quite meet expectations, scoring just 2 points and 1 point respectively. Ouch.
After opening their showcase tour on Friday in Las Vegas by cruising past Argentina, Coach K was more than satisfied with his team’s follow up performance.
“We should have won, but the way we won was excellent,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re really growing together as a group. I think we’re learning more about one another, and our defense was there pretty much the whole game.”
And hey, the Chinese don’t seem to be all that upset about the loss either. After all, the coaching staff and players all understand that the talent gap between the two teams is insurmountable. The 101-70 loss to Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the most favorable result in the history of Chinese basketball against the Americans. At least they didn’t get doubled this time around.
“Although our players are a dominant force in Asia, there is still a lot for us to learn from the best of the best,” said China’s coach Gong Luming. “The USA has been at the top of the competition for 20 years and there is a lot we can take away.”
DeAndre Jordan looks like a 2k create-a-player against China right now pic.twitter.com/DvPEsJf0bX
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 25, 2016
On another interesting note, Kevin Durant, who defected to the 73-9 Warriors last month, was booed by the sellout crowd at Staples Center, though he personally said he did not notice the booing before the game.
The two teams will meet again on Tuesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. KD, Klay and Draymond will play in front of their home crowd as a trio for the first time. Standing ovation this time maybe?
And better luck next time, China?
Hopefully, none of the Chinese players start considering a career in archaeology after the next beatdown.