After a slow start, D.C.-area superstar Kevin Durant and the rest of the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team eventually found their game Sunday, downing France 98-71 to open play in the 2012 Games.
Durant did D.C. proud by recording a team-high 22 points.
Even though the final score didn't show it, Team USA's first game wasn't as dreamy as some thought it might have been. France trailed by just one point after the first quarter.
But Durant and the boys turned it on in the second quarter and began to pull away.
"We know that it’s not that easy," Durant said. "There are so many great players and teams here. We knew it was going be good for us."
There wasn't much flow early on as the refs called it close, meaning many whistles for fouls and few chances to get a good rhythm going.
But once Team USA did, France couldn't slow them down.
"In the first half they did what they had to do," Carmelo Anthony said. "They slowed the game down. They got us to foul them a lot. In the second half, once we figured it out, really settled down on the defensive end, our defense really took off."
Durant said the early fouls were tough on Team USA.
"But we know now," he said. "We just have to not worry about the refs and just play our game. I think we did a great job of responding to that. Guys played hard. Even though some calls we thought should have gone our way, but that’s the name of the game and we just have to keep playing through it."
While they may not be as dominant as the Dream Team, Durant thinks things are starting to fall into place.
"We’re close. We still have a lot of work to do, but that’s the beauty of it all," he said. "We’re all coming together in such a short time. We’re having fun playing. Guys don’t worry about points, rebounds, assists; we just want to play to win."