Aug 10, 2016

    US, Australia shooting for Group A basketball lead

    TWO-TIME defending champions United States and Australia improved to 2-0 with lopsided triumphs, setting up a showdown later today between the two basketball contenders.

    Paul George scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 17 to lead the US collection of NBA stars over Venezuela 113-69 on Monday.

    Patty Mills netted 26 points and Matthew Dellavedova contributed 23 in the Aussies' 95-80 win over Serbia.

    Australia will have the chance to snap a 0-14 all-time run against the US who ousted them in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic quarter-finals in a fight for the preliminary-round Group A lead.

    "We know Australia is going to be a tough one for us, just based on how physical they are, so we'll be ready for that," said US star Carmelo Anthony.

    George noted: "If they are going to beat us, they are going to have to work for it."

    Former NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant said: "It's going to be a grind-out game and I'm looking forward to it.

    "I know most of their main players that play in our league.

    "I know they play with a little bit more confidence and have different roles here but we'll prepare for them."

    The Aussies boast four players who have won NBA titles - Dellavedova with Cleveland this season, Andrew Bogut with Golden State last year and Mills and Aron Baynes with San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

    US coach Mike Krzyzewski said: "I'm sure Australia sees a lot of things that they can do against us because they're really good.

    "We know that and we'll prepare accordingly."