After dropping consecutive games against Nigeria and Australia, the USA men's basketball team lived up to its potential on Tuesday night, July 13, and bounced back with a 108-80 victory over Argentina for its first exhibition win in Las Vegas.

The Team USA displayed the talent and skill level expected from them in capturing the gold medal at the 2021 Olympics. 

All of the five starters for USA Basketball namely, Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, and Bam Adebayo, scored at least 12 points while holding Argentina to only a 38.4 percent shooting night.

According to, U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich appreciated the quick start executed by his team. 

Team USA poured rain early in the ball game, launching a barrage of 3-pointers. Kevin Durant, Beal, Lillard, and LaVine were behind the assault that catapulted the USA to a 28-12 lead after about seven minutes of action.

Popovich emphasized that he was satisfied with the effort of the group in the four quarter. Popovich focused on the closing quarter after noticing fatigue setting in the previous two games of the American basketball team.

Popovich said that they sustained their game pretty well in their game against Australia. The coach added that they competed well, rebounded, played defense, ran the floor, and had a good pace but only in the first half because it dissipated through the second half.

However, it was a different story in their game against Argentina. Popovich noted that they maintained their effort on both ends of the floor throughout the game. The coach of the USA Basketball added that he was hoping that it would be the sign that they need before heading to the Olympic games.

Popovich said they were a little better in terms of condition, and for him, playing these games is huge for them because it made them better and better, bit by bit, every day.

During a postgame interview, Team USA center Bam Adebayo also said they were more intense and improved on the defensive end. Adebayo noted that they were just locked in in their game against Argentina.

Guard Bradley Beal further noted that the biggest thing they have realized was it's not NBA, and Popovich re-emphasized that to them every day.

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International Games vs. NBA

Beal shared that it was more physical in the international games and pointed out that teams have been playing together for five or even 10-plus years, so they have this experience and chemistry advantage over them. 

Beal added that they were trying to develop that in a short period of time, and every single day they have to get better.

Argentina was led by their 41-year-old big man and former NBA player Luis Scola, who scored 16 points and five rebounds. Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo also added 12 points.

The win was a relief for the USA team, as they secured a much-needed victory in front of the 4,697 home fans in Las Vegas.

READ MORE: USA Basketball Booed by Home Fans in Vegas After Bowing to Australia

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Written by: Jess Smith