Scary start, awesome finish. Team USA wins their second straight exhibition game as they prepare for one tomorrow morning (well 5am Pacific time live on ESPN2).
ESPN: LeBron James snatched the opening shot right off the rim, raced the ball all the way up the floor himself and made a tough runner while moving away from the basket.
No problem with the ankle. No trouble with Turkey, either.
James scored 20 points and was a defensive force Thursday night in his exhibition debut, helping the U.S. Olympic basketball team overcome some early sloppy play to beat Turkey 114-82 in its first game in China.
“Obviously he’s healthy,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He got player of the game. I voted for him twice.”
Carmelo Anthony added 17 points and Dwight Howard had some powerful dunks while finishing with 14 for the Americans, who shot 69.5 percent (41-of-59) from the field.
They allowed 10 field goals in the first quarter, then only 10 combined over the next two periods. They improved to 2-0 in Olympic tuneup play and face Lithuania here Friday before moving on to Shanghai for their remaining two games.
LeBron James scored 20 points, but was equally effective on defense as the U.S. beat Turkey on Thursday.
“We have guys that can come in and wear a team down. Wear a second unit down or wear a first unit down,” James said. “Once we realized it’s going to not happen in the first quarter but toward the middle of the second quarter and then toward the end of the third quarter, we can break the game open, and that’s what we did.”