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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 August, 2004, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
US win amid security fears
Shawn Marion's drive to the basket is blocked in Istanbul
The US found the going tough in Turkey
The US Olympic basketball team overcame Turkey in their latest Athens warm-up after bomb blasts shook Istanbul.

The USA claimed an 80-68 victory over the Turks, having decided to go ahead following earlier explosions at two hotels in the city and a fuel depot.

"They said everything would be fine, so you have to keep going on," said San Antonio star Tim Duncan.

The US team also had to deal with an intimidating crowd after fouls on two Turkish players soured the atmosphere.

With the crowd jeering and whistling, the USA pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure victory.

The play that turned the fans against them came when LeBron James swiped at the ball and hit Turkey guard Ibrahim Kutluay in the eye.

Kutluay, who scored 26 points, lay writhing on the floor before walking off. He eventually returned.

Another Turkish player went down moments later, and the whistles and catcalls then reached earsplitting levels whenever the Americans had the ball.

USA basketball coach Larry Brown
Brown: happy with how the security issue was handled
"This is part of the game. I think it was the right answer from the fans, and they'll see it in Greece, too," said Turkish centre Mehmet Okur, who recently signed with Utah from NBA champions Detroit.

"It's much different in Europe. It's not like the NBA."

Duncan led the US with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Allen Iverson scored 13 and Richard Jefferson added 11.

USA coach Larry Brown admitted the bombings had affected his players.

"We all were a little uneasy about it because most of the guys had family here," he said.

"But people here handled it great. They made us feel pretty secure. We knew when the schedule was made that there had been some incidents here, but everybody wanted to come."

Links to more Basketball stories


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