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Team USA Defeats Canada in First Olympic Basketball Tune-Up

In their first game preparing for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the U.S. men’s basketball team defeated Canada 86-72 in an exhibition match on Wednesday. Anthony Edwards led the team with 13 points, Steph Curry added 12, and Anthony Davis contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. LeBron James had seven points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 19 minutes, while Jrue Holiday scored 11 points with five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

The U.S., aiming for its fifth consecutive Olympic gold, faced a strong Canadian team featuring NBA stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and RJ Barrett. Despite a slow start, falling behind 11-1, the U.S. team quickly recovered. Coach Steve Kerr’s starting lineup included James, Curry, Holiday, Devin Booker, and Joel Embiid. The second unit, featuring Davis, Bam Adebayo, Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Jayson Tatum, played a significant role in turning the game around.

The U.S. overcame their initial struggles, taking a 41-33 lead at halftime and extending it to 69-54 by the end of the third quarter. The team showcased strong defense and rebounding, out-rebounding Canada 53-48, blocking nine shots, and holding Canada to 33.8% shooting. The U.S. shot 50.7% from the field but struggled from beyond the arc, making only 7 of 23 three-point attempts.

Coach Kerr emphasized the importance of setting a tone for how the team wants to play, highlighting the defensive intensity and rebounding as key aspects of their performance. The U.S. will continue their Olympic preparations with upcoming games against Australia, Serbia, South Sudan, and Germany.

Barrett led Canada with 12 points, while Dillon Brooks and Gilgeous-Alexander each added 10 points. The U.S. played without Kevin Durant, who missed the game due to a sore calf, and Derrick White, who will join the team in Abu Dhabi.

Overall, the U.S. team’s depth and talent were on full display, as they overcame early challenges to secure a convincing victory against a medal-contending Canadian team.

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