Turiaf, France Can't Slow Durant, USA Basketball In London
LONDON - Former Gonzaga University standout Ronny Turiaf and his French teammates had a tough draw for their opening basketball game of the 2012 Summer Olympics Sunday, dropping a 98-71 decision to USA Basketball.
Turiaf, traded from the Miami Heat to the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA late in the week, had 7 points, 9 rebounds and a pair of assists as France fell to 0-5 all-time against the U.S. in Olympic basketball competition.
Kevin Durant had 22 points and 9 rebounds, Kevin Love added 14 points and Kobe Bryant added 10 points and the U.S. held a 56-40 rebounding edge to win its Group A opener.
Turiaf won the game's opening tip and scored his first point on a free throw to cut the USA lead to 6-3 and picked up his first field goal with just under 7:00 to play in the opening quarter to pull France within 8-5. His final field goal at 4:28 once again brought France to within three points at 18-15. Turiaf, just 3-for-8 from the free-throw line, scored his final two points from the charity stripe in the second half.
Turiaf played 21 minutes in his starting role at center.
The USA roster includes LeBron James, a teammate of Turiaf's this past season as the Heat won the NBA title. Turiaf also won a NBA title with Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers as Turiaf spent his first three seasons with the Lakers. The Clippers will be his sixth team in eight NBA seasons.
France will meet Argentina Tuesday while USA will face Tunisia. Argentina downed Lithuania 102-79 and Tunisia fell to Nigeria 60-56 in other Group A action Sunday.
The top four teams from Group A and Group B advance to medal play.
Complete statistics from the France-USA game can be found by clicking here.
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