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US Dominates China, Yao Is Hobbled

Illustration for article titled US Dominates China, Yao Is Hobbled

The US Men's basketball team is off to an excellent start on their bid for international redemption following a breezy 101-70 win over Yao Ming and the host nation. Dwyane Wade, looking every bit as unstoppable as he did before being beset by injuries, set the tone with 19 points on a perfect 7-7 from the field and 5-5 from the free throw line. Yao, as expected, was the dominant force for China, but he finished with just 13 points and 10 rebounds. Despite being in some obvious pain Yao remained on the floor for a team-leading 30 minutes (of the 40 minute game), leading the fine citizens of Houston to consider military action against the People's Republic.

Recent New Jersey Nets acquisition Yi Jianlian scored just nine for the hosts, while the newest Los Angeles Laker, Sun Yue scored eight, including two three pointers. Elsewhere in Group B preliminaries Spain dispatched of Greeks with ease behind 17 points from Rudy Fernandez and solid contributions from their stacked roster. The Germans were the other Group B winners on the second day of preliminary competition at the expense of an over-matched Angola side. Dirk Nowitzki and his neu annschaftskamerad Chris Kaman dominated the Angolans, going for 23 and 24 points respectively.

Whereas the results in Group B could have been easily predicted, Group A has proven to be a bit trickier. Denver's Linas Kleiza powered and shot his Lithuanian side past the favored Argentinians, much to the dismay of Manu Ginobli (19 points). Kleiza was his team's leading scorer with just 13 points, but he was perfect from the three point line, including the game winner with a couple of seconds left on the clock. Sarunas Jasikevicius paced the Lithuanians with 10 points and 8 assists.

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