Streaming Flashback: Kevin Durant's 27 Points Lead 2012 USA National Team To 86-80 Win Over Argentina
USA Basketball is streaming select nation team exhibition contests every Tuesday (women) and Thursday (men) through July 9. This week’s men’s national team exhibition re-air is from July 22, 2012, when Kevin Durant, just prior to the start of the 2012 London Olympics, poured in 27 points to lead the USA to an 86-80 victory over Argentina in front of a sold-out crowd in Barcelona, Spain. The game will be streamed 8 p.m. EDT 8 p.m. EDT at USAB.com/live and on USA Basketball Twitter and Facebook pages. During the re-air, USA National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo will discuss the building of USA's National Team program and recall their favorite memories from the 2012 exhibition.
Twenty years after the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team made its indelible impact on international basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, USA Basketball’s 2012 Men’s National Team, wearing 1992 USA Basketball throwback jerseys, returned to the hardwood in Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain and battled to a hard-fought 86-80 win over Argentina.
Kevin Durant drained 7-of-11 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 27 points in the win.
“We started off pretty well, got a couple of shots. Argentina did a great job of slowing the game down, making the right passes and penetrating and executing. So, it was a good game for us. We learned a lot tonight. We just have to keep getting better for the Olympics and our guys did a good job of playing through everything, playing hard, playing together,” said Durant.
“It was a great game for us because we played against champions," said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach. "The Argentine team played like champions for over a decade and to play in a game like, I thought it was really our first international. I thought our guys did a great job at the start of each half.”
“I thought Kevin was sensational tonight against man and zone. He looked like he did in Istanbul tonight.” added Krzyzewski about Durant, who earned MVP honors in leading the USA to gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Playing its fourth of five exhibition games, the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team dominated Argentina early then turned back each Argentina comeback attempt.
Durant gave an indication of things to come when he dropped back-to-back 3-pointers on the USA first two possessions and after Kobe Bryant scored with 8:46 still to play in the quarter the Americans were off to a flying 8-0 start.
Argentina’s Luis Scola made one of two free throws to get Argentina on the board, but the U.S. threatened to make a rout of the game after Bryant and Durant each added 3-pointers and Bryant converted off a fast break to push the USA advantage to 16-1.
A Bryant 3-pointer, the USA’s fifth of the game’s first 3:15, made the score 19-3. Argentina reeled off six consecutive points to cut the deficit to 19-9 with 3:30 remaining in the opening quarter, and with 46 seconds to play in the period the USA led 25-14.
Carmelo Anthony got in on the 3-point parade with a 3 with 38 seconds left before the horn, and when Deron Williams hit nothing but net from beyond the 3-point arc as the first quarter buzzer sounded, the Americans had control 31-16.
The U.S. continued to have its way and following two free throws and a hoop off a drive by Bryant, the USA lead was up to 20, 39-19, with 6:56 remaining before half.
Argentina climbed back into the game with a 10-0 run that was capped by a Carlos Delfino 3 that cut the USA lead to 39-29.
LeBron James stopped the run, but Argentina kept chipping away, and following a 3-pointer from Leo Gutierrez, the USA's advantage was down to five, 45-40. Russell Westbrook cushioned the U.S. lead to seven, 47-40, when he scored off an Andre Iguodala block and fast break feed with just two seconds to go in the first half.
A Durant jumper, a Bryant 3-pointer and a James basket got the USA off to a good third quarter start and upped the lead to 54-40.
Ahead 61-49, the USA ripped off eight-straight points including another three from Durant, and the lead was back to 20 points, 69-49, with 3:01 left in the third.
Argentina again rallied and after outscoring the U.S. 12-3 to close out the third quarter, the USA’s lead stood at 72-61 heading into the final period.
Owning a 78-63 led early in the fourth, Argentina got eight points from NBA All-Star Manu Ginobili in a 11-0 run that saw Argentina close to within four points, 78-74, with 2:50 left in the game.
Durant made his seventh 3-pointer when the USA needed it most, and when Paul followed up with his own 3-pointer with 2:07 to go, the USA regained momentum and control 84-76 and rolled in for the 86-80 win.
In addition to Durant’s 27 points, Bryant added 18 points, James recorded 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Westbrook tossed in 13 points. Tyson Chandler led the U.S. effort on the glass with eight boards.
Ginobili finished with 23 points for Argentina, while Delfino added 15 points and Scola finished with 14 points.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team went on to claim gold with a perfect 8-0 record, defeating its opponents by an average margin of victory of 32.1 points a game. Where some teams win because of defense, the 2012 U.S. team was an unstoppable offensive machine. The U.S. averaged 115.5 points a game in its eight outings, the second most points averaged ever by a U.S. Olympic men’s team. Only the famed 1992 Dream Team averaged more, out producing the 2012 team by a slim 1.8 points a game margin (117.3 ppg. to 115.5 ppg.).
|Bryant||G||6-12||3- 7||3- 4||0||4||4||4||18||1||0||0||2||25|
|Paul||G||1- 3||1- 2||2- 2||0||3||3||3||5||5||1||0||0||21|
|Chandler||C||0- 0||0- 0||0- 2||2||6||8||4||0||0||0||1||1||13|
|James||F||6-11||0- 1||3- 9||1||6||7||2||15||5||3||0||0||31|
|Love||0- 0||0- 0||0- 0||1||1||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||7|
|Anthony||2- 8||0- 3||0- 0||2||3||5||4||4||0||1||0||0||24|
|Westbrook||3- 8||1- 4||6- 7||0||1||1||2||15||1||3||1||0||15|
|Williams||1- 6||1- 5||0- 0||0||1||1||2||3||2||2||0||0||19|
|Iguodala||0- 1||0- 1||1- 2||1||1||2||2||1||2||0||1||2||12|
|Delfino||F||6-13||3- 8||0- 0||0||5||5||0||15||0||2||0||1||21|
|Nocioni||F||2- 6||0- 2||1- 2||2||3||5||3||5||1||1||0||0||26|
|Ginobili||G||7-13||3- 6||6- 7||0||1||1||5||23||2||2||0||0||26|
|Prigiono||G||2- 4||2- 3||2- 2||3||2||5||2||8||6||2||0||1||33|
|Laiva||0- 0||0- 0||0- 0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||10|
|Gutierrez||2- 6||1- 4||0- 0||0||3||3||1||5||1||0||0||0||11|
|Jasen||1- 3||0- 1||0- 0||0||3||3||0||2||0||0||0||2||11|
|Kammerichs||0- 1||0- 0||0- 0||1||3||4||1||0||0||1||1||1||7|
|Mata||0- 0||0- 0||0- 0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Campazzo||0- 1||0- 0||3- 4||0||0||0||0||3||1||0||1||0||7|
|Gutierrez||1- 6||0- 0||3- 4||2||1||3||2||5||1||0||0||0||16|
|USA National Team||31||16||25 14 86|
|Argentina National Team||16||24||21 19 80|
Officials: Marat Kogut, Luis Cano, Daniel Rodrigo