Durant leads U.S. basketball team to romp over Dominicans

Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:21am EDT

1 of 2. Kevin Durant (C) of the 2012 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team drives for a lay up over Jack Martinez of the Dominican Republic during an exhibition basketball game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada July 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

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(Reuters) - The high-powered U.S. Olympic basketball team, led by Kevin Durant, fired a warning shot to their rivals by crushing the Dominican Republic 113-59 in Las Vegas on Thursday in their first game ahead of the London Olympics.

Durant, the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 world championship tournament in Turkey for the gold-medal winning Americans, picked up where he left off on the international stage with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Overmatched and weary after missing out on the final Olympic berth with a loss to Nigeria in the qualifying tournament, the Dominicans were harassed into mistakes by the Americans.

The Olympic champions used their quickness to force turnovers, converting their fast break opportunities into soaring dunks, while Durant and Andre Iguodala showed off their sharpshooters' touch.

Durant hit 9-of-12 from the floor including 6-of-8 from three-point range, while Philadelphia 76ers swingman Iguodala shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and scored 18 points.

Three-time NBA scoring champion Durant knocked down his first five three-pointers and had 21 points as the Americans surged to a 50-27 lead by halftime.

Anthony Davis, the top pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, filled in for injured Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who left the Las Vegas training camp on Thursday for a medical examination after complaining of soreness in his left knee.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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