BARCELONA, Spain — The U.S. Olympic men's basketball team wore the throwback uniforms of the 1992 Dream Team on Sunday. The Americans' play was much different.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points and the United States held on for a narrow 86-80 victory over Argentina in an exhibition game.
The Americans got off to a hot start but their lead was down to four with 2:50 left after Manu Ginobili's three-point play. But Durant and Chris Paul hit big 3-pointers as the U.S. won after being pushed for the second time in its four exhibition games.
Kobe Bryant added 18 points and LeBron James 15 for the U.S., which beat Brazil 80-69 in a similarly rugged game last week in Washington.
Ginobili scored 23 points, Carlos Delfino had 15 and Luis Scola 14 for Argentina.
Back in Barcelona, where the Dream Team won gold 20 years earlier, the U.S. players wore that team's throwback uniforms. The white uniforms with red and blue along the side and USA in the middle also had the letters “CD” in gold on the left shoulder in honor of coach Chuck Daly, the Dream Team coach who died in 2009.
Otherwise, the Americans are more interested in building for London than reflecting too much on the past. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a Dream Team assistant, made that clear Saturday at practice when he was asked about the old days.
“I'm not here to sight see … this isn't me doing a reminisce tour in my retirement,” he said.
The two games here should certainly help them get ready. The Americans play Spain on Tuesday, a rematch of the Americans' 118-107 win in the gold-medal game four years ago.
First was Argentina, which won the 2004 Olympic gold medal, beating the U.S. in the semifinals. The Americans returned the favor four years later in the same round before recapturing the gold.
Krzyzewski unveiled another starting lineup, with James, Durant, Bryant, Paul and Tyson Chandler. He has alternated the Durant-Carmelo Anthony and Paul-Deron Williams combination, with the other three spots set.
The first group got off to a sensational start, Durant opening with two 3-pointers before Bryant's basket made it 8-0. Scola made a free throw before Bryant and Durant nailed 3s and Bryant dunked to make it 16-1 not even three minutes into the game.