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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Sunday, 10 August 2008 20:59 UK

Star-studded US overwhelm China

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Video - USA 101-70 China

The United States beat China 101-70 in one of the most eagerly awaited events of the Olympic Games.

With their host of NBA stars, the US were always expected to win but that did not stop the game being the hottest ticket in town.

President George Bush was among the spectators as the Chinese took a surprise lead thanks to 7ft 6in Yao Ming, who plays for Houston Rockets.

The American class showed in the end with Dwayne Wade scoring 19 points.

To the great excitement of the crowd, the Chinese stayed with their illustrious opponents until well into the third quarter as the Americans missed a string of chances and limped to a 49-37 half-time lead.

BBC Sport's Matt Slater
However, with LeBron James scoring 18 points and Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard both contributing 13, the Americans eased clear of a tiring Chinese team.

More than a billion people were estimated to have seen the game on television.

US coach Mike Krzyzewski said: "More people were supposed to be watching this game than any other in basketball history, and we treated that as a great honour. Both teams responded to the magnitude of the event."

Yao, who scored 13 points, said: "It was a great game played in a fantastic atmosphere, with all the flags and cheering. Everyone was very proud."

Defending champions Argentina stumbled to a 79-75 loss to Lithuania despite 19 points from San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobli.

European champions Russia beat Iran 71-49 while Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points as Germany overwhelmed Angola 95-66.

see also
GB absent from Beijing basketball
30 Nov 07 |  Basketball

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