Basketball: Durant sparks USA rout of China in Olympic opener

Zhou Peng of China and Kevin Durant of the US compete during the Group A basketball match between China and US, on August 6.
Zhou Peng of China and Kevin Durant of the US compete during the Group A basketball match between China and US, on August 6. PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Kevin Durant scored 25 points as the USA's National Basketball Association stars routed China 119-62 on Saturday to launch its bid for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

The new Golden State Warriors addition added a game-high six assists for the Americans, who continue Group A preliminary round play on Monday against Venezuela.

A US Olympic free throw record fell as the Americans made 33-of-45 from the line, eclipsing the old mark of 32 made from the record 46 attempts in a 1960 game against Italy.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 17 points for the US team while Paul George had 15 and Kyrie Irving had 12.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian scored 25 points to lead China.

The Americans improved to 6-0 against China in Olympic play and 3-0 since assembling last month, having won two lopsided exhibitions last month in California against the Asian champions.