Anthony: 'Team USA can be scary'

USA is the favourite to win a third-straight gold, and Carmelo Anthony said it was an early chance to showcase its abilities.

CarmeloAnthony - Cropped

Carmelo Anthony sent an early warning to USA's opponents.

United States star Carmelo Anthony insists his team wanted to send a message to the world with its thrashing of China at the Rio Olympics.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points as Team USA crushed China 119-62 in its Group A opener on Saturday.

USA is the favourite to win a third-straight gold, and Anthony said it was an early chance to showcase its abilities.

"We wanted to send a message to the rest of the world that we mean business," he said, "It still can be better and that's what makes us scary."

DeMarcus Cousins (17 points), Paul George (15) and Kyrie Irving (12) were also solid contributors in the huge win. Jimmy Butler, who had eight points, said it was just another step to USA gold.

"We got one down, seven to go until we get our gold," the Chicago Bulls star said.

Team USA take on Venezuela on Monday.