US 'Dream Team' whip Britain by 40
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams responded to a lineup change with 19 points apiece, and the US Men's Olympic basketball team beat Britain, 118-78, yesterday in an exhibition game.
LeBron James added 16 points and Russell Westbrook had 15 for the Americans, who built a 40-point lead early in the fourth quarter against their inexperienced and overmatched opponent, and every basket from there seemed to be a dunk.
US coach Mike Krzyzewski changed up his starting lineup, inserting Kevin Durant for Anthony, and Williams for Chris Paul, and both Anthony and Williams flourished in their new roles.
Williams, who couldn't scrimmage with the Americans when they opened camp because he hadn't signed his $98 million extension with the Nets yet, made 7-of-8 shots, going 5 of 6 from 3-point range and adding five assists.
Anthony came in for Durant in the first quarter — apparently unnoticed to the PA announcer, who credited Durant with the Knicks forward's first basket — and shook off the change well after being a starter in three previous years with the national team and both exhibitions this year. He rebounded from a poor game in Washington by shooting 8 of 10 from the field.
Chicago Bulls All-Star Luol Deng scored 25 points for Britain.
Britain's home game was similar to the Americans' opener against China in the Beijing Olympics, where plays for both teams were loudly cheered. The boos were brief, when a light "USA!" chant broke out in the fourth quarter.
Basketball has little place in British sports, but with the national team returning to the Olympics this year as the games' host, the sport got some attention with a visit from the powerful U.S. squad.
In an unusual pregame scene, the crowd didn't seem interested in the home team's strange set of pregame warm-up exercises, choosing instead to watch the Americans' practice dunks, oohing and aahing along the way.
The rules of the game were then written shown on the overhead video scoreboard and explained by the public address announcer before play began.
The British, also including the Portland Trail Blazers' Joel Freeland and coached by Houston Rockets assistant Chris Finch, hung with the Americans for 10-plus minutes before the visitors' athleticism ran them off the floor.
Coming off a tough test against Brazil in an 80-69 victory Monday in Washington in which they trailed by 10 after one quarter, the Americans led by only three inside 1 1/2 minutes left in the opening period. They closed with 10 straight points, with Anthony nailing consecutive three-pointers that made it 33-20.