Team USA win an ugly 80-45 battle against Venezuela in preparation for Rio Olympics

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Team USA defeated Venezuela 80-45 at the United Center in Chicago last night in what was by far the least efficient performance of their four exhibition games.

Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson led the way for the U.S. by scoring 13 points apiece. DeMarcus Cousins put in a dominant performance in the paint one again after he pulled down 12 rebounds. 

U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski insisted he learned more about his team on this occasion than he did in the three previous blowouts.

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"Quite frankly, I'm very pleased about tonight because you don't just want to just hit 17 3s and not work hard," Coach K said. "We had to work real hard tonight."

Jimmy Butler was the star of the show for Team USA as the Windy City fans welcomed the face of their franchise home, just as the Oracle Arena did for Kevin Durant last week.

The shooting guard managed four points and eight rebounds in his first start for the national team this summer and was wildly cheered every time his name was announced.

"This is like home for me now," Butler said. "I'm glad that I got to play here for USA in front of my hometown crowd. They've embraced me since day one. I hope they continue to do so. I want to win with the Bulls. I want to win with USA and bring a championship with the Bulls and a gold medal here."

Paul George did not play in this one at the coach's decision, and maybe Team USA missed a little bit of his shooting prowess. They needed a strong fourth quarter to shoot 42.4 percent from the field in by far its worst offensive performance of their preparations for the Rio Olympics.

But Venezuela could not cope with the Americans' elite athleticism and they only managed to shoot 24 percent from the field while also allowing America to boss them on the interior with a 54-29 rebounding advantage.

Up next for Team USA is Nigeria in Houston, Texas, to complete their five-city pre-Olympics tour.

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