USA Basketball Halfway To Gold

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Sunday, August 17, 2008 (AP) -- Four down, four to go. The U.S. men's Olympic team is halfway back to the top of the basketball world. And not even the world champions -- on paper anyway -- could give the Americans a game.

Unleashing a lethal 3-point barrage for the first time in Beijing, the Americans turned the marquee matchup of the preliminary round into another romp, beating Spain 119-82 Saturday night to clinch the top seed in their group.

LeBron James scored 18 points for the United States (4-0), which hit seven of its first 10 attempts from behind the arc after making only 29 percent in its first three games. They finished at 48 percent (12-of-25), an almost unfair total for a team with unmatched athleticism.

Every U.S. player scored -- even Jason Kidd for the first time in Beijing -- as the Americans turned the matchup of unbeatens into their easiest victory yet. Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony each finished with 16 points.

The Americans will face the No. 4 seed from Group A, either Australia or Croatia, in the quarterfinals. They also wouldn't have to face Lithuania, the other remaining unbeaten and top seed from the other side, or Spain again until the gold-medal game.

(Copyright 2008 by the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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