08-20-2006, 11:27 AM
Not sure why no one is talking about this... (probably no one cares for basketball)

USA is 5-0* clinched 1st place in round one, and will play #4 seed from group C

USA 111 Puerto Rico 100
USA 121 China 90
U.S. 114, Slovenia 95
U.S. 94, Italy 85
U.S. 103, Senegal 58


08-20-2006, 11:28 AM
U.S. 111, Puerto Rico 100

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 19, 2006

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- Puerto Rico was scoring so easily against the United States, maybe the Americans should have considered playing 6-against-5.

Actually, they tried that, too.

The U.S. eventually overcame a slow start that included a strange sequence in which Carmelo Anthony inbounded the ball despite being out of the game, settling down to beat Puerto Rico 111-100 on Saturday in the opening game of Group D in the world championships.

Anthony led the U.S. with 21 points. LeBron James and Kirk Hinrich each added 15 for the Americans, who found things to be much tougher than they were during a 45-point rout in an exhibition game at Las Vegas earlier this month.

"We got a slow start but we picked it up in the second half," James said. "We were able to keep them in front of us and we got a win. It doesn't matter how many points you win by, as long as you get a win."

Carlos Arroyo of the Orlando Magic scored 23 points for Puerto Rico, which looked capable for much of the first half of a second straight major upset of the United States in international play. The Puerto Ricans shocked the Americans 92-73 in the opening game of the Olympics two years ago in Athens.

Anthony, James and Dwyane Wade, the three U.S. captains, were there for that loss, which sent the Americans on their way to a disappointing third-place finish.

"Now I'm kind of one of the leaders of this team along with Dwyane Wade and LeBron, so I've got to go out there and do what I have to do to pick this team up any way possible," Anthony said.

Apparently, that includes trying to make a play even when he's not in the game.

Anthony was the central figure in the game's most bizarre sequence, which led to a technical foul on the Americans. After picking up two quick fouls, he went to the bench, but chose to stand in front of his chair instead of sitting.

When a ball went out of bounds near the U.S. bench, both the nearest referee and U.S. guard Kirk Hinrich didn't seem to realize Anthony wasn't in the game. So the official handed the ball to Anthony, the closest player to him, and with no other U.S. players coming back for it, Anthony simply passed it in, giving new meaning to the term "sixth man."

"The referee threw me the ball, so I just threw it in bounds," Anthony said. "He didn't even know."

The ref eventually figured it out when Anthony didn't run up the court with the rest of the players, and a technical foul was called. Arroyo hit both free throws to tie the game at 17, and an irate coach Mike Krzyzewski loudly scolded his players sitting on the bench.

"I'm used to that after four years at Duke, so I knew where he was coming from," Shane Battier said. "In a situation like this, with a team that on paper you're scheduled to beat, if you give them confidence, strange things can happen in the game of basketball.

"Against teams you should beat, you have to go out early on, impose your will, and send a message that 'Hey, we're here to play."'

The Americans eventually did that in the second quarter. Anthony returned early in the period and scored nine points, helping the U.S. turn a four-point deficit into a 57-51 lead at the break. He converted a three-point play and fed James for a fast-break dunk on consecutive possessions early in the third as the U.S. pushed the lead into double digits for the first time.

"I think from the second quarter on the defense was good," Anthony said. "First quarter we kind of gave them too many points. We let them score, we let them get to the middle of the court a lot, but we sat down at the end of the first quarter and said if we wanted to win this game we have to do it on the defensive end."

The Americans will have to do it better, though, after allowing Puerto Rico to shoot 54 percent from the floor and make 10 of 16 3-pointers. But the Puerto Ricans didn't have nearly enough depth to keep up their fast start, especially when Arroyo was on the bench.

Puerto Rico coach Julio Toro said the U.S. defenders, "have to keep growing and getting better in their man-to-man matchups, the matchup zones, closing lanes."

The American players partially attributed their poor start to the quiet environment inside the arena. The public address announcer's call that it was time to meet Team USA during pregame introductions was followed by almost complete silence, though cheers eventually came for James and Wade.

The U.S. moved on to play China in its second game. The Americans are playing in a relatively weak group, which should give them plenty of time to clean things up before the later rounds.

"Our defense will get better as this tournament goes along," Wade said. "That will be our game. We've got guys that can get out to the open court. Once we can do that, we're a pretty good ballclub."

08-20-2006, 11:29 AM
U.S. 121, China 90

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 20, 2006

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- Yao Ming is back, and the United States was ready for him.

Using a swarming defense and their huge advantage in depth to make life miserable for China and its All-Star center, the Americans rolled to a 121-90 victory Sunday night to remain unbeaten at the world championships.

"We knew that they wanted Yao to be a big factor, so we wanted to take him out and make them take difficult shots," U.S. forward Antawn Jamison said.

Dwyane Wade scored 26 points for the Americans, who needed less than four minutes to build their first double-digit lead and led by as many as 36. Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard had 16 points each and Chris Paul 13.

LeBron James, Joe Johnson and Elton Brand all had 11 points while Paul added eight assists and Howard 11 rebounds.

"We were trying to share the basketball, share the defensive rotation and just be a team," Brand said. "There are a lot of individuals out there, especially on their respective NBA teams. We're trying to be a team out here, get assists and do the extra things."

The Americans, averaging 116 points through two games, next play Slovenia on Tuesday. They headed into Group D's off day tied with Italy at 2-0 for first place. China (0-2) is tied with Senegal at the bottom. The top four teams in the six-team pool advance.

Yao led China with 21 points, but the Americans made him work for all of them. He had only one field goal in the first half, when the game was decided, and finished 5-of-8 from the field before fouling out with 6:08 remaining.

"We worked very hard to defend Yao," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He's a terrific player."

Yao didn't play in the Americans' 119-73 victory in this month's exhibition game at Guangzhou, China, because he was recovering from a broken left foot. His return in time for this tournament gave plenty of hope to the Chinese, who had a large contingent of fans at the game waving flags and holding large pictures of Yao.

The 7-foot-5 center predicted China would advance out of pool play -- he was quoted in a story in the China Daily before the tournament as saying, "China will enter the last 16, I promise." Then he scored 30 points in China's opening loss to Italy.

But the U.S. never let him be a factor when the game was still in doubt, delivering a couple of hard fouls when he had a clear path to the basket and even playing two centers together at times. Still not fully fit, Yao didn't even make it across midcourt at times after Chinese turnovers.

"It is a little bit different from playing Yao in international ball than NBA ball," Howard said. "Yao is the main focus for the Chinese team. Playing with him in America he has Tracy McGrady on his team, so Yao kind of gets some rest."

After coming off the bench in the Americans' victory over Puerto Rico in the opener, Howard drew the starting assignment Sunday and responded underneath.

"Dwight would take any center from any team," Krzyzewski said. "The guy who's been our best center has been him."

Meanwhile, the Americans displayed the balance that makes them one of the tournament favorites, with Krzyzewski using all 12 players in the first half.

Leading by 14 points midway through the second quarter, the Americans used a 12-0 run to break open the game and build a 54-28 lead.

Wade then scored the Americans' final 11 points of the half, including a drive just before the buzzer that gave the U.S. a 63-38 lead. China had more turnovers (12) than baskets (11) in the first 20 minutes.

China coach Jonas Kazlauskas said all teams facing the United States have the same problem: "Turnovers, transition and rebounds -- and we had the same problems today."

The Chinese finished with 25 turnovers -- an improvement from their 34 in the exhibition game -- which helped the Americans to a 29-8 cushion in fast-break points. The U.S. outscored China 20-3 on turnovers.

Yao hit a jumper to open the third period and Wang Shipeng scored the next eight points as the Chinese pulled within 63-48. But James scored seven points during a 10-3 surge that pushed the lead back to 22, and the Americans were never threatened again.

The United States improved to 5-0 in world championships play against China, the Asian champion. Wang added 17 points for China, which next plays Puerto Rico.

Ultra Peanut
08-22-2006, 04:50 AM
US leads Slovenia 30-27 at the end of the first quarter.

I love watching live sporting events in the early morning hours.

Ultra Peanut
08-22-2006, 06:22 AM
US wins 114-95. The game was more lopsided until they took their foot off the pedal a bit in the last few minutes.

Ultra Peanut
08-22-2006, 06:23 AM
Also, that wrap in the McDonald's commercial IS NOT A DAMN SNACK. That thing is probably 800 calories or something.

08-22-2006, 07:26 AM
U.S. 114, Slovenia 95

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 22, 2006

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- The United States had the two best teams on the floor Tuesday night.

Using two units to wear down and outrun Slovenia, the Americans rolled to a 114-95 victory, remaining unbeaten and clinching a spot in the round of 16 at the world championships.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for the U.S. (3-0), which meets fellow Group D unbeaten Italy on Wednesday night. LeBron James added 19 in his most impressive performance of the tournament.

James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Shane Battier started the game, but U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski sent Wade, Elton Brand, Antawn Jamison, Kirk Hinrich and Joe Johnson out together midway through the first period.

The second unit put a stop to Slovenia's strong start, and both groups contributed to the big run that blew open the game in the second quarter.

Brand finished with 16 points and Anthony had 14. All but one of the U.S. players scored.

Slovenia, with four NBA players on its roster, was widely considered the second-most talented team in the group. But the Slovenians have lost consecutive games to the group co-leaders after beating Senegal on Saturday in their world championships debut.

Sani Becirovic led Slovenia (1-2) with 18 points. Primoz Brezec and Bostjan Nachbar each added 15.

Running its offense crisply to get open shots, Slovenia led 21-16 after Rasho Nesterovic's follow shot with 2:47 left in the first quarter. Wade and Brand then each had four points in an 11-0 burst, and the Americans were ahead 30-27 after one.

Slovenia was within four points early in the second before the Americans blew it open with an 18-4 run, fueled by steals and dunks. Antawn Jamison's basket after Joe Johnson's steal made it 55-37 with 4:20 left in the half, and the U.S. led 66-49 at the break.

Slovenia shot 52 percent in the first half, but the U.S. turned 16 turnovers -- the Slovenians had only 15 field goals -- into 22 points.

James and Howard were among the U.S. players who drew "Oohs" and "Aahs" from the crowd with a series of pregame dunks. Then the game started, and the Americans really put on a show.

The Americans had little trouble getting the game at the fast pace they wanted, and had few problems even when they were forced to slow down. Wade got behind the zone to dunk an alley-oop pass from Paul on one play, and the U.S. was 7-of-11 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.

Slovenia coach Ales Pipan sat Nesterovic, Nachbar and Beno Udrih, three of his NBA players, to open the second half. They watched as the Americans pushed the lead to as much as 29 points in the third quarter.

The Slovenians got within 11 in the final minutes. They face Puerto Rico next.

08-22-2006, 09:35 AM
Isn't Kobe supposed to be on there? There are a few players missing.

Ultra Peanut
08-22-2006, 10:50 AM
There are a few players missing.Which is a very, very good thing.

08-22-2006, 11:05 AM
Hmmm, sounds like they tried to make more of a team this time around. I didn't even realize they were playing the world championships. I need to catch the next game. When is it and what channel?

08-22-2006, 11:13 AM
Nevermind. It looks like all of their games are on ESPN 2.


08-22-2006, 11:24 AM
I hope they have some more Friday/Saturday 1am games in the next round.

there's no way I would get up early to watch on a school day

08-22-2006, 01:38 PM
I hope they have some more Friday/Saturday 1am games in the next round.

there's no way I would get up early to watch on a school day

That's why my dvr is such a wonderful invention.

08-22-2006, 01:45 PM
That's why my dvr is such a wonderful invention.

yeah, but as soon as it's over the scores are everywhere.

there's nothing like watchiing it live

08-23-2006, 08:53 AM
U.S. 94, Italy 85

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 23, 2006

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- With a record 35 points by Carmelo Anthony and first place in its group, the United States had plenty to celebrate Wednesday night.

Anthony scored 19 points in the third quarter, leading the Americans back from a 12-point deficit to beat Italy 94-85 -- their toughest test yet in the world championships.

"That's probably the toughest game we had in international play so far," Anthony said. "We're used to beating teams by 20, 25 points in the two previous games. You come into this game thinking, 'OK, we're going to try to beat them by 25.' When we thought like that, they almost were up 25 in the first half."

Playing extensive minutes with fellow captains Dwyane Wade and LeBron James after U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski was forced to scrap his two-unit rotation, Anthony went 13-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

He broke the U.S. scoring record set by Kenny Anderson, who scored 34 points in a 1990 world championships game -- for a team also coached by Krzyzewski.

"Carmelo was amazing," center Elton Brand said. "He got hot, and he's that type of scorer. He can shoot from anywhere."

Wade added 26 points, helping the Americans (4-0) finally seize control for good midway through the fourth quarter with six points and an assist during a 10-2 spurt that gave the U.S. a 13-point lead.

The U.S. clinched the top seed in Group D and will face the fourth-place team from Group C on Sunday in the round of 16.

But the U.S. wasn't the only team that walked off the floor with pride. The Italians gathered in a circle after the game ended and applauded themselves, knowing how close they had come to duplicating a victory over the U.S. in 2004.

"I'm very honored to coach this team," Italian coach Carlo Recalcati said. "We tried to keep under control of the game for 40 minutes, but it was not possible. Every time we made a mistake they go and score easily."

The Italians (3-1), done in by a five-minute stretch without a field goal in the third quarter, can still earn Group D's No. 2 seed by beating Puerto Rico on Thursday.

But they were thinking bigger after controlling the first half to the delight of a group of fans chanting "Italia! Italia!"

"Against the U.S. you can't rest at all," Italy's Mason Rocca said. "Third quarter we made some mistakes and they were able to capitalize on them."

Marco Belinelli scored 25 points for the Italians, the 2004 Olympic silver medalists. They defeated the U.S. 95-78 in an exhibition game prior to those games.

The Italians were expected to take a step down from that level after turning to a younger team following a ninth-place finish in the 2005 European championships that forced them to need a wild card to qualify for these world championships.

They hit 30 3-pointers in their first three games, and the Americans tried to negate that by extending their defensive pressure farther from the basket. But the Italians took advantage with dribble penetration while working their offense expertly in the first half, when they shot 58 percent.

Brand scored the last five points of the first quarter as the U.S. took a 25-19 lead, but the Americans then made only two field goals in the second -- and made matters worse by missing five of 12 free throws -- during a dismal 11-point period.

The Italians capitalized with a 12-4 spurt to close the half, with Matteo Soragna scoring the final five points of the half to give Italy a 45-36 lead at the break.

The Americans, who came in averaging 115.3 points, shot only 39 percent in the first half.

Krzyzewski sent out James, Wade and Anthony together to start the second half with Brand and Chris Paul.

A three-point play by Belinelli 15 seconds into the half gave Italy a 12-point cushion. The Americans finally started running, battling back to seize a 53-52 lead when James found Wade down the floor for a basket to cap a 17-4 surge.

"We understood that we weren't playing good at all. We weren't playing the way the U.S.A. played," Wade said. "We weren't moving the ball. We weren't getting after it defensively.

"We still were very confident. We just knew that we could play a lot better. After they went up 12, we came on and really played the way we play, and that is getting out on the fast break and playing defense."

The U.S. gets a breather Thursday, facing winless Senegal (0-4) in its final game of pool play.

08-23-2006, 09:06 AM
Nice to feel a bit of pride at what our guys are doing there. I'm going to see if I can't get the next game on tivo.

08-23-2006, 09:19 AM
From what I saw of the games teams can start employing a new tactic to beat us and its called


(Because we can't hit free-throws.

Ultra Peanut
08-24-2006, 05:23 AM
Halftime in the US-Senegal game, and there's lots of tension. Can the US hold on to their slim 34-point lead, or will they stretch it out to 60?

From what I saw of the games teams can start employing a new tactic to beat us and its called


(Because we can't hit free-throws.Spank-a-yank works, sexual connotations aside.

Ultra Peanut
08-24-2006, 07:40 AM
Ohhhhhh, now I remember... Moussa Badiane played for ECU.

103-58, US.

08-24-2006, 09:03 AM
U.S. 103, Senegal 58

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 24, 2006

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- Dwyane Wade rose to acknowledge the crowd chanting his name with 4 minutes left, the only time he got off the bench as the United States routed Senegal 103-58 Thursday to advance to the second round of the world championships.

Wade had the night off, after helping the U.S. rally a day earlier in the win against Italy.

The NBA finals MVP for the Miami Heat stood and waved, drawing a loud roar.

"That was a first for me," Wade said. "It was a great experience, though. We play our heart out here to entertain. We gained some fans on this trip."

Chris Bosh scored 20 points and LeBron James added 17 in limited duty for the U.S. team, which remained unbeaten.

The Group D champions depart Friday morning for Saitama, where they will face Australia, the fourth-place team from Group C, on Sunday in the round of 16.

That will surely be more difficult than this one, where the U.S. led by as many as 45 against the overmatched African runner-up.

"It's the medal round," Wade said. "Everyone is good. We've got to come in and prepare for them like we've been doing every other game and take it from there."

James scored 15 points in 13 minutes of the first half, then sat along with Carmelo Anthony for the first seven minutes of the third quarter and returned for only a few minutes. Anthony finished with 12 points and played only 14 minutes, one night after setting an American record with 35.

Elhadji N'doye scored 25 points for Senegal (0-5), the last-place team in Group D.

"We've got players, so we just need to reorganize," Senegal's Makhtar N'diaye said. "Our team's going to do that, and our future is pretty bright."

The Americans were coming off their toughest test of the tournament, needing huge second halves from Anthony and Wade to help them rally from a 12-point deficit to beat Italy 94-85 on Wednesday.

But Wade, who appeared to land on his hand after a hard foul during that victory, wasn't needed this time. He showed up on the court a little more than 15 minutes before the tip and stretched, but otherwise just watched his teammates.

Anthony started the game alongside him on the bench. With nothing at stake, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski sent out a lineup that included Brad Miller -- who had played in only two of the first four games -- along with usual reserves Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich and Antawn Jamison.

The Americans got off to a bit of a slow start and trailed by one midway through the first quarter. A 19-0 run gave them a 31-13 lead early in the second, and after that Krzyzewski was able to mix and match while making sure his stars didn't play too much in his team's fifth game in six nights.

The extra rest will come in handy starting Sunday.

"There are no grand illusions that this is going to be an easy road," Shane Battier said.

Every U.S. player except for Elton Brand, who played only 3 minutes in the first half, had scored by the break. Anthony's 3-pointer with under 4 seconds to go gave the Americans a 58-24 lead at the break.

"It was great for other guys to get minutes that haven't played a lot and play well," Brand said.

Bosh, seeing limited time in Krzyzewski's 10-man rotation for most of pool play, scored 15 points in the second half. He made a pair of free throws to give the Americans a 101-58 lead with 2:04 remaining, and Jamison followed with a bucket 30 seconds later to give the Americans their largest lead.

"Chris has been a guy, who when he has played, has done a good job for us on the offensive glass," Wade said. "But it's 12 guys on the team, so I think Coach, like he told everybody coming in, he doesn't know who he's going to play any given night so everyone has to continue to be ready."

Johnson had 11 points for the U.S., which shot 51 percent. Bosh grabbed 10 rebounds, leading the Americans' 53-32 advantage on the boards.

Pitt Gorilla
08-24-2006, 11:39 AM
The US is putting on a clinic. I like having the young, superstar players (LeBron, DWade, and Melo) paired with outstanding role players (Battier, Heinrich, Bosh, Paul). Having Coach K steer the ship doesn't hurt either.

08-24-2006, 12:02 PM
The US is putting on a clinic. I like having the young, superstar players (LeBron, DWade, and Melo) paired with outstanding role players (Battier, Heinrich, Bosh, Paul). Having Coach K steer the ship doesn't hurt either.

Yes, Coach K is just what Team USA needs to get our guys playing as a unit instead of a bunch of individual hot dogs. International competition has greatly improved but it is still our game and there is no reason our team can't win it all. Our recent losses are our own fault.

Having said so, I'll also say this: let's shrink that international lane down to regulation size, lengthen the game time to regulation NBA time and see what happens when the game is played without conditions designed to negate American talent.

08-25-2006, 02:07 PM
Aug. 27th


Winner plays: winner of Nigeria vs Germany

08-25-2006, 02:27 PM
I think the US basketball problems in the last Olympic games was too much one-on-one. I see it all the time when I play hoops. Everbody wants to be the star player. Everybody wants to be the scorer. Hell, even I get caught up in that sometimes. It's that way in street ball and as well as in the NBA. And I saw a lot of that against Italy. When they started passing it around and finding the open guy, the offense worked. Of course, when a guy is on fire like Melo was in the 2nd half against Italy, you can allow him to do the one-on-one thing.

Also, the fact that the 2004 Olympic team didn't really have a great 3 point threat really hurt them. This team has a few 3 point threats in Hinrich, Anthony, and James. I don't know if Chris Paul is much of a 3 point shooter, but he's a very solid PG.

Yes, the rest of the world has gotten a lot better and has closed the gap. It was a huge gap. But we still have the best talent and should still win. It's just of matter of putting together the right team, not a collection of individuals. And, of course, great coaching is necessary to get these guys to play together as a team. I really like this group. Should be fun to watch the next several games.

Ultra Peanut
08-27-2006, 07:09 AM
US 113, Australia 73

The US looks really good, and Germany looks really bad (they squeaked by Nigeria 78-77). Wednesday's game could be ugly.

08-27-2006, 12:07 PM
beat them by 40 points....next up is Dirk and company.......GO USA

08-27-2006, 12:15 PM
beat them by 40 points....next up is Dirk and company.......GO USA

Who helped you with the math?

08-27-2006, 12:35 PM
U.S. 113, Australia 73

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
August 27, 2006

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) -- Andrew Bogut was no problem for the United States. Next up: Dirk Nowitzki.

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points, and the Americans smothered Australia in the second quarter and ran away to a 113-73 victory Sunday in the second round of the world basketball championships.

Joe Johnson added 18 points, and Dwyane Wade had 15 for the Americans, who allowed only two baskets and six points in the second period en route to a 30-point halftime lead. The U.S. shot 54 percent from the field, including 14-of-27 from 3-point range, and led by as many as 42 points.

"That goes to show that when we really get focused in and play defense," Anthony said, "we can do some damage."

The U.S. (6-0) advanced to a quarterfinal matchup Wednesday night against Germany, which beat Nigeria 78-77 in the first game of the day behind 23 points from Nowitzki, the All-Star forward from the Dallas Mavericks.

"I think we're as ready as we're ever going to be right now," U.S. point guard Chris Paul said.

The Germans were the bronze medalists in the 2002 world championships.

The Americans were sixth that year, their worst performance ever in a major international tournament. But they continue to look like one of the favorites in Japan after surpassing the 100-point mark for the fifth time in six games.

"They're pretty good," Australia's Brad Newley said. "Oh, they're very good. They creamed us."

The U.S. is averaging 109.3 points in the tournament. All 12 players scored against Australia.

And this time, the defense was there, too. The Americans weren't always sharp on that end during pool play, when they allowed 85.6 points per game.

"Coach K made it a point to let us know good our defense was," center Chris Bosh said. "We probably played our best defensive game and I think that's going to catapult us into the rest of the games."

Bogut, the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NBA draft who just completed his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks, led Australia with 20 points. But after a strong start, he was scoreless for a stretch of more than 15 minutes, when the Americans outscored the Australians 45-14.

"They are definitely the most talented team in the tournament," Bogut said. "For us, we have to build for the Beijing Olympics. Today was an indication we have a long way to go."

The Australians (2-4) came in seeking to control the tempo, and they did a good job of it for most of the first half. Their problem was in making shots.

Bogut, who was a national college player of the year at Utah, scored nine points in the first five minutes, hitting a 3-pointer to give the Australians a 15-14 lead in the first quarter.

Australia was within two points after Newley's basket with 1:41 remaining in the frame. But by the time C.J. Bruton made the next one, the Australians had gone nearly 9 minutes without a field goal as the Americans broke the game open.

"I was sitting there and I was like, 'When was the last time they scored?"' U.S. forward Antawn Jamison said. "Somebody said they scored a couple of free throws but that was it. I think they only had six points in that quarter, something like that, and that's a test to the way defensively we're taking it personal.

"We want to not rely on our offense all the time."

Leading 27-23 after one, the U.S. outscored Australia 19-1 during the first 7 minutes of the second quarter to take a 46-24 after Anthony made a pair of free throws with 3:01 left in the half. Australia missed 20 of its first 27 shots before Bruton's jumper with 2:50 to go.

Johnson scored the last seven points of the half, and the Americans took a 59-29 lead into the break.

Bogut finally ended his drought with a pair of free throws to open the second half, but the U.S. built its lead to 88-48 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter after Wade hit the Americans' fourth straight 3-pointer.

"I don't know if there is a team that can play with them for 40 minutes," Australia coach Brian Goorjian said. "We did it for about eight minutes."

U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski kept the same starting lineup he used for most of pool play, with the exception of Elton Brand replacing Dwight Howard at center. But he went away from his two-team rotation, sending only three players out when he made his first substitutions midway through the opening quarter.

Shane Battier hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points, while Bosh also added 12 for the Americans.

LeBron James had another quiet game with five points, hitting the top of the backboard on one jumper from the corner.

08-30-2006, 03:53 PM
U.S. 85, Germany 65

August 30, 2006

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) -- So far, no one at the world championships has figured out how to counter Team USA's superior skills, athleticism and depth. Germany provided a clue Wednesday night.

The Germans packed the paint and forced the Americans to fire from afar. The strategy worked for a half before the U.S. pulled away for an 85-65 victory.

It may have been the scariest 20-point win in team history. The Americans struggled against the Germans' zone defense and were out of sync for much of the night.

The Americans' performance provided a glimmer of hope for defense-oriented Greece, which faces the U.S. in the semifinals Friday. Spain and Argentina, which meet in the other semifinal, also will take note.

"I'm sure we're going to see a lot of zone," U.S. guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We have up 'til now, and I'm sure we will the remainder of the games. And that's fine. We've got guys who can make shots, and for whatever reason we just didn't do that tonight."

Indeed, the U.S. struggled through its worst shooting performance -- 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range -- in seven games.

The only worse shooting came from German star Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with more turnovers (five) than baskets (three). He was 3-for-12 from the floor and finished with 15 points, tied for the team high with Ademola Okulaja.

The Americans' leading scorer was Carmelo Anthony, who scored 19 points but was 2-for-12 in the first half.

"My shot wasn't falling, but we're going to have nights like that when shots don't fall," said Anthony, who went 5-for-7 after halftime. "We keep shooting. We know we're capable of making those shots. Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) told us to keep shooting. That's what we did."

The U.S. is at its most potent when it is running the floor and attacking the basket. But it launched 40 of its 85 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

At halftime, this looked like the nightmare scenario envisioned by skeptics who have questioned the Americans' shooting touch. German coach Dirk Bauermann packed the lane with a zone defense and dared the Americans to fire away from outside.

Others have tried to do the same thing, but this time the strategy worked.

"We switched our defense and played a lot of zone in the first half," Bauermann said. "In the second half, they turned up the heat and played a great defensive game, and when you play like that you can beat anyone and win the gold."

The U.S. pulled away with defense and rebounding. It pressured the Germans into 24 turnovers and hammered them 48-34 on the backboards, including a 22-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

"The U.S. was better defensively," Bauermann said. "They turned us over and killed us on the offensive glass."

True enough. The U.S. is two wins away from its first gold medal since 1994 in this competition. But it will take more than rebounding and defense to mount the winner's podium on Sunday night.

The Americans didn't appear medal-worthy for much of Wednesday night.

Dwyane Wade went 1-for-11 from the floor and fired two air balls from beyond the arc. Shane Battier missed all three 3-pointers he tried. LeBron James was 6-for-10 from the floor but had seven turnovers.

"We weren't taking bad shots," said Wade, who left the game for a few minutes after taking an inadvertent shot to the face from Germany's Pascal Roller. "They were open looks."

Given its dreadful shooting, the U.S. seemed fortunate to take a 40-39 lead into the dressing room. One reason: The Americans kept Nowitzki off balance by running platoons of defenders at him.

"We tried to give him different looks and not try to send him to the free-throw line," Anthony said. "That's his moneymaker right there. Just playing against him all year long, we kind of knew some of the stuff he was capable of doing."

At halftime, Krzyzewski decided to turn up the defensive pressure. Smart move. The Germans turned the ball over 13 times in the second half, and that allowed the U.S. to take control.

With three steals in the second half, Anthony was among the U.S.' most active defenders. In a dazzling one-minute sequence in the third quarter, the Denver star dunked on a fastbreak, nailed a 3-pointer and then stole a pass and cruised in for a breakaway dunk.

"You've got to do little things to try to find your rhythm," Anthony said.

Anthony sparked an 18-4 run that gave the U.S. a commanding 60-45 lead. The Germans never threatened again. But they had thrown a scare into the U.S. while providing new hope for the rest of the field.

"We missed a lot of shots but defensively did what we had to do," Krzyzewski said. "We won even though we missed a lot of shots."

08-30-2006, 06:52 PM
Who helped you with the math?


08-30-2006, 11:20 PM
US against Greece is next. Should be a tough game.


08-30-2006, 11:34 PM

USA (7-0) vs Greece (7-0)

Argentina (7-0) vs Spain (7-0)

08-30-2006, 11:46 PM
I think we beat Grease by 15.