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Team USA shakes off slow start to roll against France

Kevin Durant #5 dunks the ball against France

Kevin Durant #5 dunks the ball against France during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 (Getty) Credit: Kevin Durant #5 dunks the ball against France during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 (Getty)

The U.S. men's basketball team has made a habit of starting slowly, but it hasn't hurt them yet.

After struggling in the opening frame for the second consecutive game, Team USA found its rhythm to breeze by France, 98-71 in their first Olympic game.

The Americans fell behind by nine in the opening quarter of their last exhibition game against Spain, and struggled to a 22-21 first-quarter lead against a French team playing without injured Joakim Noah. But they stormed out in the second quarter with an 11-0 run, and showcased their unmatched depth by overcoming foul trouble to handle France.

No-look assists, alley-oop passes for thunderous dunks and sublime ball sharing drew oohs and ahs from a packed Olympic Basketball Arena as the game went on, with Team USA shrugging off the pressure they've put on themselves to match the efforts of the 1992 Dream Team.

"We're trying to figure out how to play with the rhythm of the game," forward Carmelo Anthony - who scored nine points off the bench - told reporters. "Once we figured that out, we were good." Kevin Durant led the U.S. with 22 points. NBA MVP LeBron James deferred to his talented teammates, leading the team with eight assists.

(with Reuters)

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