Kevin Durant will be back in the NBA Finals before long.
Kevin Durant will be back in the NBA Finals before long.

The United States Men's Basketball team begins its quest for a second straight gold medal on Thursday night.

The club will face the Dominican Republic in an exhibition game in Las Vegas. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The D.R. is led by Kentucky head coach John Calipari. They have a few NBA players on the roster, inducing the Hawks Al Horford and the Kings Francisco Garcia. The team lost to Nigeria at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela on Sunday.

The U.S. will be without star forward Blake Griffin. He injured his left knee during a scrimmage on Wednesday. Griffin will be replaced by number one draft pick Anthony Davis, according to Yahoo Sports.

The team's final roster was selected on Saturday, and the group will face another country for the first time in 2012. Five members of the 2008 team returned this year, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

It's one of the smallest Team USA's in memory. The team has just one true center in the Knicks Tyson Chandler.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN. If you can't get to a television, you can watch a free online live stream on

PREDICTION: The U.S. might have a few kinks to work out in their first game together, but they should have no problem running through the D.R. Since there is no one to stop NBA superstars James and Kevin Durant, the game should be out of hand by the second half.