US hoops dominates China in scrimmage
NEW YORK (AP)
Short on size, the United States showed off a surplus of speed.
Danny Granger scored 22 points and the Americans sprinted past China 98-51 in a scrimmage Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
On a day they gave their strongest hint yet that they're prepared to take only one center to the world championships, the Americans were credited with a 32-4 advantage in fast-break points.
''We're the fastest team, I think, in the world, so we've got to use that to our advantage,'' Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala said.
Eric Gordon strengthened his case for a spot on the team with 15 points, while Kevin Durant added 14 and Derrick Rose had 12.
Granger, showing no effects from a dislocated ring finger on his shooting hand, was 9 of 12 from the field and made three 3-pointers. He was hurt earlier this week and missed a day of practice.
''I score the ball, that's what I do,'' Granger said.
Gordon made three of the Americans' 11 3-pointers. Though he's been considered on the bubble to make the final roster, he's played well in both U.S. game action and supplies some of the outside shooting a perimeter-oriented team needs. He scored 16 points in the intrasquad scrimmage last month in Las Vegas.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski likely did show who two of his cuts will be, not using Jeff Green or JaVale McGee. If McGee is cut, it would leave Tyson Chandler as the only true center on the U.S. team.
The Americans believe they can overcome a lack of size with their speed and shooting. It worked for three quarters. The first field goal of the fourth quarter put the Americans up by 51 points.
The teams played four 10-minute quarters, with the score reset at the beginning of each period. The Americans outscored the Chinese 35-8 in the third, then lost the fourth 17-16 when Gordon was just short on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
''We expected to win every quarter,'' Gordon said. ''It didn't happen for us, but we really did good the first three quarters.''
Both teams will play Sunday in a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. The United States faces France in its lone exhibition on home soil, with China meeting Puerto Rico in the second game.
The Americans leave Monday for three exhibition games in Europe. Their first game in Turkey is scheduled for Aug. 28.
''We just need to play,'' Krzyzewski said. ''I'm not saying China's a great team or anything, but they've played, and that's what they do. They play internationally. Our guys need to play these scrimmages and games to get accustomed to the international game.''