Great Britain suffered a 118-78 drubbing at the hands of the United States to illustrate the massive challenge they face at the Olympics.
Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng had a game-high 25 points but the resistance was feeble as the gold medal favourites delivered a humiliating rout.
Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams scored 19 each for the visitors as they put on a show in front of a near capacity crowd at the MEN Arena.
“It was good, we played against the best team and for some of the guys, it was the best competition they have played against,” said Deng.
“But for 40 minutes, it’s very hard to keep focused but physically you have to be in top shape and you have to be alert and it was good for the players to have that tonight,” Deng said.
The Americans never looked back after closing the first quarter with a 12-0 run and although GB were still in touch when they trailed 55-37 at half-time, they could not live with the consistent pressure.
At times, admitted newly NBA-bound Joel Freeland, they look scared.
26 turnovers led to 33 American points. Mistakes will never go unpunished.
And the USA’s collection of All Stars dominated inside and forced repeated turnovers to surge clear, leaving GB coach Chris Finch with more questions than answers despite five late three-pointers and a flurry of 11 points from Drew Sullivan that restored some respectability.
“It was a step back in our defence and ball-handling under pressure,” he said. “We’re going to move on and carry on preparing.”
Pops Mensah-Bonsu added 12 points and a game-best 9 rebounds for GB, who finish their build-up to London with friendlies against Tunisia and Belgium this weekend.
The USA go onward to face Spain and Argentina.
“I thought it was a great game from us,” Williams said. “We’re just really using this time, these warm-up games just to find a rhythm, to find a chemistry.
“We’ve only been together for a short amount of time, so all these practices, these games, these warm-up games are going to do a lot to build up chemistry and build character. We’re really learning a lot about who we are and finding our roles. It was a good win tonight against a tough Great Britain team.”
Notes Ogo Adegboye was activated. Deron Williams and Kevin Durant started, in place of Chris Paul and Carmela Anthony. The crowd was announced as 16,979, below full capacity.
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