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U.S. Turns It Up in Easy Victory

Americans use 18-0 run to beat Dominican Republic, 111-73, in Olympic qualifying.

August 22, 2003|From Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The U.S. had such an easy time against the Dominican Republic, it eclipsed 110 points for the first time in two years.

Tracy McGrady scored 17 points, Vince Carter had 15, Jermaine O'Neal 14 and Kenyon Martin 13, and the Americans used an early 18-0 run to take control in a 111-73 victory Thursday night in the FIBA-Americans Olympic qualifying tournament.

It was the first time since the 2001 Goodwill Games that a team of American professionals surpassed 110 points. Last summer's U.S. team at the World Championship scored 110 twice but was held to 84 points or less in its final four games -- three of which were losses.

The 1992 Dream Team scored fewer than 110 points only twice in 14 games

"If we really got it going for four quarters together the way we did in that second and third quarter, I think we can get up to 150 points," McGrady said. "We know we can score the ball, but we need to get stops to get running in transition, and then no one can beat us."

As they did in their opener against Brazil, the Americans got off to a shaky start -- no one more so than McGrady.

With the U.S. trailing, McGrady went to the free-throw line twice in the first five minutes and missed all four shots.

Fortunately for the U.S., two of the misses turned into offensive rebounds and putbacks for O'Neal.

McGrady rediscovered his shooting touch in the third quarter, making three three-point shots as the Americans made five three-pointers in the quarter and went ahead by as many as 35.

"Well, we had 39 assists and 46 field goals, so that's exactly the way we'd like to play -- share the ball and play like a team," Coach Larry Brown said. "That's what we've done the last two games, and that's what we'd like to continue to do."

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