Team USA cruises past Canada: Anthony Edwards shines, takeaways from pre-Olympic exhibition


LAS VEGAS — There were a few bumpy moments for Team USA during its Olympic training camp, but Wednesday’s game against Canada didn’t turn out to be one of them.

The Americans cruised to an 86-72 win in the summer exhibition opener for both countries in a packed T-Mobile Arena. Anthony Edwards, Team USA’s leading scorer at the World Cup when there weren’t all these stars around, picked up where he left off with 13 points off the bench. Anthony Davis, another reserve, produced what could be his first of many double-doubles with 10 points and 11 boards. Steph Curry was the team’s top starter with 12 points.

The Canadians were led by R.J. Barrett with 12 points.

Earlier Wednesday, USA announced it had dismissed Kawhi Leonard (knee injury) and replaced him with Derrick White, who is expected to join the team in Abu Dhabi for practices and exhibition games over the next week. And Kevin Durant, Team USA’s all-time leading scorer, didn’t participate in any team drills or scrimmages this week due to a strained left calf.

When the Americans arrived in Las Vegas on Friday, they were a roster of 12 All-Stars — 11 of them current — and collective resumes that rival the Dream Team of 1992. If Durant returns as planned and the U.S. wins its fifth consecutive gold medal in Paris, this group will still be talked about in those lofty terms, but the first few days were not without their trials.

Both teams — don’t forget, Canada won bronze at the World Cup in Manila, beating the U.S. to do so — have much to work on before the Olympics start July 26. The Americans committed 15 turnovers to Canada’s 12. Joel Embiid fouled out with … 5:01 left in the third quarter? Yes, yes he did. So he needs to learn the FIBA rules and perhaps continue to ramp up conditioning. Both offenses were a little clunky. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shot 3-of-10 and the Canadians were 7-of-32 from 3.

The Americans flexed their old muscles and new ones. The one advantage they always have — depth — allowed them to erase a 21-14 first-quarter deficit. It was 41-33, Team USA, at halftime, and Edwards made a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer for a 69-54 advantage. Overall, Team USA’s bench outscored Canada’s reserves, 42-33, but the difference was greater before the game got out of hand.

The size the Americans added by bringing in Davis, Embiid and Bam Adebayo was apparent. The USA scored 50 points in the paint to Canada’s 32, while the rebounding edge was only 46-43 in favor of the Americans — that was another area where the U.S. dominated until the closing minutes when the game was out of reach.

Seated all around the court were numerous attendees of USA Basketball’s 50th-anniversary celebration from Tuesday night, including former President Barack Obama, Redeem Team architect Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski, NBA legends Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton and Chauncey Billups, and all-time great college coaches John Calipari and Jim Boeheim, to name a few.

Team USA next plays Australia at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Monday at noon ET. The Canadians’ next game is July 19 against Olympics-host France in Orléans, France.

This will be updated.

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(Photo: Jeff Bottari / NBAE via Getty Images)





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