LeBron, Curry impress as USA romp past Canada in Olympic warm-up

LeBron James and Steph Curry made a winning start as USA team-mates in an 86-72 victory over Canada in a pre-Olympics exhibition game in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The two NBA superstars are part of a formidable USA basketball roster that will be chasing a fifth consecutive gold medal when the Paris Olympics get under way this month.

James and Curry are playing alongside each other for the first time as international team-mates, and showed glimpses of a near telepathic understanding during Wednesday’s game.

Curry finished with 12 points while James had seven as the US recovered from an early 11-1 deficit to cruise to victory in their final game at home before Paris.

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They decamp to the United Arab Emirates for exhibition games against Australia and Serbia next week.

Los Angeles Lakers ace James gathered the USA team for a huddle following a win which suggested the Americans will, unsurprisingly, be red hot favourites for the gold in France.

“We know we can be a lot better but we’ve only been together four days,” James said afterwards.

“All the miscues offensively, and the turnovers. We’ll get better with that — but it starts on the defensive end.

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“As long as we defend we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win every night.”

Curry agreed that defense would be the key to the Olympic campaign.

“We can work out the kinks and the timing on offense, but if we compete like that and commit to playing defense, we’ll be fine against anybody,” Curry said.

James, the NBA’s all-time leading points scorer, meanwhile said he had enjoyed joining forces with Golden State star Curry.

“We’re just two guys who love to play the game of basketball,” James said.

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“It’s fun. We play the game at a high level but more importantly, we just play the game that we love the right way.”

Curry said winning a fifth consecutive gold would be a team effort.

“We just want to win gold, whatever that takes,” Curry said.

“No matter what your stats are, no matter how many minutes you play — if everybody on the floor commits to just doing what you’re asked to do, we’ll be good.”

AFP

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