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Team USA Vs. Dominican Republic Basketball: Kevin Durant Paces USA To 1st Half Lead

In their first official appearance together against unfriendly competition, the USA men's basketball team built an early lead against the Dominican Republic during the first half of their exhibition in Las Vegas on Thursday night. As they intend to do over the next month, Coach K's club pushed the pace against the Dominicans -- racing up-and-down the floor to take a 50-27 lead after 20 minutes.

Kevin Durant is perhaps the most prolific scorer in the world, and the NBA's scoring champ immediately got to work on Thursday night. Durant took advantage of the closer three-point line and continued his success in international play with 21 points in the first half. Durant broke out during the Worlds two years ago and he could very well be the scoring star this year in London.

Miami's LeBron James will once again be a big facilitator of the world's top talent. James has played a lot of center so far against the DR, with injuries plaguing the frontcourt and Tyson Chandler getting into early foul trouble. James will likely play all five spots on the floor.

Anthony Davis, who had to return to the program at the last minute on Thursday after an injury to Blake Griffin, did not enter the game in the first half.

Stick with SB Nation Tampa Bay as LeBron James and Team USA make their drive for a second straight gold medal.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.