Wearing throwback jersey’s from the 1992 Dream Team the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team on Sunday held off Argentina to claim an 86-80 victory in an exhibition game leading up to the 2012 London Olympics.
Team USA was led by Kevin Durant who pulled down 27 points followed by Kobe Bryant who added 18 and Lebron James who scored 15.
The men’s basketball team nearly blew the lead after Manu Ginobili made a three-point play with 2:50 remaining, cutting Team USA’s lead to just four points. The U.S. men rebounded on big 3-pointers from Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.
Argentina had some big play makers after Ginolbi scored 23 points, Carlos Delfino added 15 points and Luis Scola threw down 14. Team Argentina had defeated the U.S. during the 2004 semifinals, eventually going on to win the gold medal.
The Americans will play Spain on Tuesday, the same team Team USA defeated 118-107 during the Olympics games gold-medal match in 2008.
Team USA on Sunday opened the game with an excellent start at Durant opened with two 3-pointers and Kobe Bryant scored from the field for an 8-0 quick start. Team USA eventually took a 16-1 lead less than three minutes into the game. At one point the U.S. men’s team held a 19-3 lead following a Kobe Bryant basket for three.
Early in the second the United States led by 20 but Argentina led by physical play managed to pull within a few baskets before the half, heading into the half way point down by just seven.
Since winning the gold medal in 2004 Argentina’s team power has dwindled and they failed to medal during the 2010 worlds, although Ginobili didn’t play in those games. On Friday Argentina was walloped by Spain who won by 20.