ESPN: Once Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant warmed up, there was no way Venezuela could keep up.
Anthony scored 17 points, Bryant added 14, and the United States rolled to a 112-69 victory Wednesday night in its opening game of the FIBA Americas tournament.
Michael Redd also had 17 points, Amare Stoudemire scored 16 and Dwight Howard 12 for the Americans, who improved to 27-0 in the regional Olympic qualifier. The Americans face the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday night.
Bryant was making his long-awaited international debut, while Anthony was the leading American scorer last year at the world championships. They needed a little more than a quarter to show they could be a formidable duo.
Jason Kidd and Howard started along with LeBron James, Bryant and Anthony, the three starters coach Mike Krzyzewski had already named. All 12 players saw action in the first quarter, which ended with the Americans up 21-8 after some shaky shooting.
Bryant was scoreless and Anthony had only four points in the opening period, but they didn’t stay quiet for long. Both scored seven points in a 16-6 spurt early in the second quarter that broke open the game and extended the lead to 39-16 on Bryant’s 3-pointer with 5:23 left in the first half.