US Tops China in Hoops Opener

Dream Team wins Beijing preliminary game
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 10, 2008 2:40 PM CDT
US Tops China in Hoops Opener
Team USA's Kobe Bryant goes up for a dunk against China during a men's basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 10 2008. Bryant scored 13 points in their 101-70 win.    (Associated Press)

The United States opened its campaign for Olympic basketball redemption today with a 101-70 rout of host China that had even the home crowd oohing and aahing. And fans including President Bush got what they came to see."I had five dunks in one game. That's because of the crowd. Last time I had five dunks in a game I was like 17," said Team USA's Kobe Bryant.

Fans throughout the arena chanted "Jia You! Jia You!" (Let's go!) and cheered plays on both ends. China's Yao Ming, All-Star center for the Houston Rockets, started the showcase by drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the key for the first score of the game. The Americans then started forcing turnovers by China's smaller guards—long the team's Achilles' heel-- and broke open the game with a series of layups and dunks.
(Read more 2008 Beijing Olympics stories.)

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