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LeBron leads Team USA past China with 22 points

8/8/2006 - NBA

GUANGZHOU, China -- With Yao Ming out with an injured left
foot, China never had a chance against the powerful United States.

LeBron James scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony added 18 to
lead the Americans to a 119-73 win over China on Monday.

"We are always going to be ready to play. The guys are bringing
a lot of energy off the bench," said James, who thrilled the
capacity crowd in the southern Chinese city with several dunks on
the fast break. "We are producing on the court and taking care of
business. We just had our stuff."

Monday's victory was the second consecutive drubbing of an
opponent by the United States, coming on top of last week's
45-point victory against Puerto Rico.

"I was happy in that we played very hard every second and we
played unselfishly, and as long as we do those two things, we will
continue to improve," coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

China held the U.S. lead to five points after the first quarter,
but the margin increased to 23 at halftime and 40 after three
quarters.

"We are one of the best teams," James said.

China didn't even have its best players.

Besides Yao, NBA veteran Wang Zhizhi sat out with a torn
ligament in his right knee. The other Chinese players struggled
against the physically superior Americans. Yi Jianlian, a 6-foot-10
center considered China's next NBA prospect, had 14 points, while
Du Feng led the scoring for China with 18.

The U.S. defense repeatedly stole the ball, and the Chinese were
slipping and falling as they attempted to keep up with their faster
opponents.

"Today we played against one of the best, maybe the best team
in the world," said China's Lithuanian-born coach, Jonas
Kazlauskas. "It was really difficult for us, especially for those
young boys on the court."

Brad Miller was 5-for-5, including 3-for-3 from behind the
3-point line for the Americans, who are preparing for the world
championships in Japan starting Aug. 19.

It's the second straight blowout between the teams. At the 2002
World Championships, the U.S. beat China 84-65 in Yao's first
official national team appearance.

The U.S. plays Brazil in Guangzhou on Tuesday before flying to
South Korea, while China travels to the eastern city of Nanjing for
more exhibition games. Yao and possibly Wang are expected to play
in those games.