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U.S. Beats China in Basketball

July 07, 1986| Associated Press

MALAGA, Spain — Kenny Smith of North Carolina scored 23 points Sunday to lead the United States to a 107-81 victory over China in a first-round game of the men's World Basketball Championships.

Smith and Arizona guard Steve Kerr combined to hit 8-of-10 three-point shots as the United States, 99-63 winners over Ivory Coast on Saturday, won its second game in as many starts. China is 0-2.

Tonight, the United States plays West Germany, which at 2-0 shares first place in Group C with the Americans. West Germany beat Ivory Coast, 88-70, Sunday.

In other games Sunday, Spain beat South Korea, 120-73, and Greece beat France, 87-84, in Group A; Israel beat Angola, 95-75, and the Soviet Union beat Cuba, 129-87, in Group B; and Yugoslavia beat Malaysia, 131-61, and Holland beat New Zealand, 84-66, in Group D.

In the U.S.'s win Sunday, guard Tom Amaker of Duke added 14 points and Sean Elliott of Arizona had 13.

Zhang Yongjun had 28 points to lead China, which tried to keep pace with the long-range shooting of the Americans but managed only 6 of 20 shots from three-point range.

"It takes a while to get used to the three-point play," U.S. Coach Lute Olson of Arizona said. "We have people like Kenny Smith and Kerr who can shoot the three-point goal with ease."

The United States dominated the first half, with Amaker and Smith leading repeated fast breaks. Scoring in spurts of six and eight points, the Americans gradually pulled away to a 57-39 first-half lead and led 68-47 early in the second half.

"I'm personally happy that China used a zone defense against us the entire game," Olson said.

For the second time, all 11 players on the American roster scored.

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