Big Easy Buzz Blog - July 31, 2008

Paul scores 12 points in USA’s exhibition rout

Thursday, July 31, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer,
During the first two days of USA Basketball’s training camp in Las Vegas last week, several reporters asked Chris Paul about his adjustment to the international three-point line. The Hornets’ 6-foot point guard shrugged off the line of questioning, saying that he often plays pickup games in the summer at Wake Forest University, which obviously uses the college three-point line. It’s pretty much a non-issue, combined with the fact that Paul has improved significantly from the deeper NBA distance as it is.

In USA Basketball’s first exhibition game in China vs. Turkey, Paul showed off his increased effectiveness from long range, drilling a pair of three-pointers among his 12 points off the bench, part of a 114-82 romp this morning.

The NBA’s runner-up in the MVP voting went 4-for-5 from the floor overall and added four rebounds and three assists. The USA team led 31-30 through the opening quarter but broke it open with a 23-7 edge in the second period, for a 54-37 halftime edge. LeBron James paced the American squad with 20 points.

Turkey’s lineup included just one player with NBA experience, forward Ersan Ilyasova, who played 66 games for Milwaukee during the 2006-07 season.