Durant scored 27 points for the Americans, who wore the throwback uniforms of the 1992 Dream Team for their return to Barcelona. They looked like the Hall of Fame squad during a superb opening quarter, but their lead was down to four with 2:50 left after Manu Ginobili's three-point play.
The Americans won after being pushed for the second time in their four exhibition games. Kobe Bryant added 18 points and James had 15 for the U.S., which beat Brazil 80-69 in a similarly rugged game last week in Washington.
"It's tough. Argentina's a very good team, very tough-minded," Bryant said. "They continue to play hard, and for us it was a big challenge to try to put the game away, we could just never do it."
Back in Barcelona, where the Dream Team won gold 20 years earlier in historic and overwhelmingly easy fashion, the U.S. players wore that team's colors. The white uniforms with red and blue along the side and USA in the middle also had the letters "CD" in gold on the left shoulder in honor of Chuck Daly, the Dream Team coach who died in 2009.