Kyrie Irving helps US to ugly 80-45 exhibition win over Venezuela

CHICAGO — Moments after his successful return to Chicago with the U.S. national team, Jimmy Butler pulled on a T-shirt with a picture of Brazilian soccer star Pele on the front.

Yup, it’s almost time for Rio.

Kyrie Irving scored 13 points, DeMarcus Cousins powered a dominant performance in the paint and the United States pulled away from Venezuela for an ugly 80-45 exhibition victory Friday night.

Coming off three straight flashy victories in Las Vegas and California, the United States used a strong fourth quarter to shoot 42.4 percent from the field in by far its worst offensive performance of its five-city tour in preparation for the Rio Olympics. But the Americans used their superior athleticism to limit Venezuela to 24 percent shooting and owned the interior with a 54-29 rebounding advantage.

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