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U.S. women dunk China, 108-63, in basketball

August 11, 2008

BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S. women's basketball team quickly dashed any hopes China had of an upset, avenging a loss in April with the second American drubbing of the Chinese in as many nights.

Tina Thompson scored 13 of her 27 points during a 23-0 run in the first quarter and the U.S. routed China 108-63 on Monday night, taking the boisterous crowd out of the game early.

Trailing by one midway through the first quarter, Thompson took over. She made two 3-pointers, a jumper from the corner, two layups, and three free throws during the spurt.

By the time Kobe Bryant and the rest of the men's team settled into their seats at the end of the first quarter the U.S. was up 33-11.

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The American men beat China 101-70 Sunday night.

After the scoring run, the women never looked back.

Bian Lan finally ended China's 6 1/2 minute scoreless drought early in the second quarter with a jumper that rattled around the rim before dropping in. China missed 12 straight shots and turned the ball over three times during its drought.

The U.S. (2-0) didn't stop at its 22-point lead, extending its advantage to 61-27 at the half. The Americans cruised the rest of the way. Thompson finished the half with 21 points, going 8-for-9 from the field. Her only miss was a 3-pointer.

She fell short of Lisa Leslie's Olympic record of 35 points set against Japan in 1996.

Miao Lijie scored 16 points to lead China (1-1), which suffered its worst loss to the U.S. in Olympic history, surpassing a 100-62 defeat in 2004.

Sylvia Fowles added 18 points, Candace Parker 12, and Leslie had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the U.S.

The women's team took in the electric atmosphere the night before during the men's victory against China. They were determined to take the crowd out of the game early. The Americans got off to a much better start than their first game, when they found themselves trailing 13-2 to the Czech Republic before turning the game into a rout.

The U.S. seemed focused to play the host country after losing to them in the gold medal game of the Good Luck Beijing tournament in April. However, that U.S. team only had four players from the current Olympic team on it.

China figured to be the toughest test for the Americans in their pool. Up next will be a matchup with Mali (0-2), which lost Hamchetou Maiga of the Houston Comets to an ankle injury in the third quarter of a 81-47 loss to the Czechs.

In other games Monday, Russia edged South Korea 77-72; Belarus topped Latvia 80-57; and Spain defeated New Zealand 85-62.

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