After a sloppy first quarter, USA Basketball got its act together and beat Venezuela in a 113-69 blowout win. For the second straight game, Indiana Pacers‘ star Paul George played an influential role in the American’s win.
It took a while for Team USA to get rolling. The score was tied at 18 at the end of the first quarter. However, it was only a matter of time before the Americans took over. They outscored Venezuela 30-8 in the second quarter and led 48-26 at halftime.
The first half for the Americans was largely dominated by starters Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. Meanwhile, other starters like DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson battled with poor shooting and foul trouble.
More from Ink on Indy
- Still Searching for Their Groove, Pacers Take on Struggling Magic Thursday Night
- Pacers Travel to the Nation’s Capital to Begin Four Game Road Trip
- Update on Pacers’ Oladipo’s Serious Leg Injury
- Has Romeo Langford Been a Disappointment for the Hoosiers?
- The Indianapolis Colts Have a Brutal Road Schedule in 2019
Paul George also battled with foul trouble. He picked up two early fouls and scored one point in the first half. However, he scored 19 points in the second half. As a result, he helped Team USA ice the game away early in the second half.
George finished the night with 20 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal. This performance continues his solid Olympic run with the national team.
In two preliminary games, George has been excellent. He is one of the first players off the bench for head coach Mike Krzyzewski because of his elite defensive capabilities. He and forward Jimmy Butler makes things difficult for opponents out on the perimeter.
George has also been very good at turning good defensive play into easy scoring chances on the other end. Whether he creates the turnover or not, he is always hustling down the floor. As a result, he has earned a lot of easy buckets.
George’s two quality performances against China and Venezuela are nice, but these feats were also expected. China and Venezuela are considered to two of the weaker teams in the Olympics.
The real test for Paul George and Team USA begins August 10 against the Australian National Team, who also has a 2-0 preliminary record.