• 41°

Olympics: U.S. pulls away from Aussies

Associated Press
BEIJING ó Donít doubt this U.S. menís basketball team ó and sure donít challenge them, either.
Especially if itís going to make Kobe Bryant flash his NBA MVP form.
Bryant scored 25 points in his best game in Beijing, and the menís U.S. Olympic team advanced to the semifinals by beating Australia 116-85 on Wednesday night.
The United States will play defending champion Argentina or Greece on Friday night for a spot in Sundayís gold medal game.
Locked in what looked like another tough game in Australia, the Americans sent the Aussiesí upset hopes down under with a 14-0 burst to open the second half, featuring nine points from Bryant.
LeBron James added 16 points for the Americans, who are guaranteed a chance to play for a medal. They need two more wins for their first gold medal in a major international competition since the 2000 Sydney Games.
As the US expected, with the gold medal getting closer, the games are getting tougher.
Australia stayed with the United States for the first 15 minutes of the game, duplicating the strong performance it had against the Americans in an 87-76 exhibition loss in Shanghai on Aug. 5 ó a contest the Americans led by only seven points midway through the fourth quarter.
U.S. players picked from a list of excuses, including fatigue from too many games and looking past the game while thinking ahead to Beijing, but it was clear early on that the Australians gained confidence from that effort.
Showing no fear of the Americans, the Australians delivered hard fouls and attacked the basket instead of settling for jump shots. They trailed by just a point after a quarter and five more than halfway through the second ó and would have been closer if not for missing four easy shots in the half.
A hard foul on Carmelo Anthony by Mark Worthington late in the second quarter fired up James, and maybe triggered Bryantís burst.
Bryant had two buckets in a late run that turned a five-point lead into a 12-point halftime advantage, then helped the Americans make it a rout to start the third.
He made two 3-pointers and had three more points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the period as the U.S. lead grew to 69-43.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Education

East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation