Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

July 30, 2012

US men shake off fouls to rout France

LONDON — The shrill of whistles came fast and furious.

For a stretch in the first half, it seemed the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team was having more trouble with the referees than with France.

"There were calls being called that didn't seem right," said forward Carmelo Anthony. "One time down the floor they called it this way, and one time they called it that way."

This squad of Americans will have to make some adjustments as the competition continues, but Sunday they overcame their own sloppiness, the refs and a sluggish start to beat France 98-71 in their tournament opener.

Kevin Durant scored 22 points in his Olympic debut, Kevin Love had 14 and LeBron James added nine points, five rebounds and eight assists.

As openers go, however, the U.S. wasn't dreamy, but still dominant.

The U.S. only led by one point after the first quarter but outscored a France team featuring Tony Parker and five other NBA players 76-50 over the final three periods.

"We got stops and made shots," Durant said, explaining the turning point. "Simple enough."

If it was only that easy.

The Americans became flustered in the first half when they whistled for 18 fouls, some of them on silly reach-ins. As they left the court leading by 16 at halftime, the U.S. players reminded each other that they would have to play much smarter if they intend to win gold medals.

"Our mindset is that from here on out that's how it's going to be officiated," said Anthony, who didn't start and then was forced to the bench in the first half after picking up his third personal.

Durant said he and his teammates let some of the calls affect their play. Not again.

"It's tough, but we know now," he said. "We can't worry about the refs and just play our game. Guys played hard even though there were some calls that didn't go our way. That's the name of the game. We just gotta keep playing through it."

Seeking a second straight gold to match the redemptive one they captured in Beijing four years ago, the Americans expected a tough test from the French. They got enough of one to keep coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff busy and this superstar-laden squad from feeling too comfortable.

"It wasn't perfect," said James, who only took six shots while setting up his teammates. "We've still got room for improvement. We had too many turnovers, too many fouls and we had a couple of defensive rebounds we could have come up with. But overall, we played a pretty good game for as close to 40 minutes as possible."

Parker, who wore goggles to protect his left eye which was injured by broken glass during a nightclub brawl in New York, didn't want to concede anything to the Americans.

But when asked if the U.S. team can be beat, San Antonio's All-Star guard took a contemplative pause before responding.

"They're going to be very, very tough to beat," Parker said.

At times, the Americans' offense was erratic. The U.S missed its first six 3-pointers and settled too quickly for jump shots instead of driving to the basket. But France wasn't able to capitalize as the U.S. turned up its defensive pressure and forced 18 turnovers.

With first lady Michelle Obama on hand to cheer on the U.S., Durant, Anthony and Tyson Chandler added nine rebounds apiece for the Americans, who will next play Tuesday against Tunisia.

As they left the floor, the U.S. players stopped to hug Mrs. Obama, who can report back to her commander in chief husband that his favorite team has taken its first step toward gold.

With the U.S. leading 52-36 at halftime, Durant opened the second half with a 3-pointer, Bryant dropped one from long range and after James dunked an alley-oop pass from Deron Williams, the Americans led 64-43.

Au revoir, France.

The U.S. team's lead ballooned to 78-51 after three quarters, allowing Krzyzewski to rest Bryant, James and Durant for most of the fourth quarter. With the game well in hand, Krzyzewski even gave 19-year-old Anthony Davis, the top pick in June's NBA draft, his first taste of Olympic play.

Love had one of his best games since making the U.S. team's roster. The Minnesota forward struggled during much of the team's exhibition tour before a breakout against Spain. He built off that game with another good one.

"Hopefully, this will be an omen, at least for me, heading forward and I can continue to play at a high level," Love said. "I needed a game like this under my belt."

James, too, was pleased by Love's contribution.

"Every guy is here for a reason," James said. "He was able to come off the bench and give us a great spark. We're going to need him."

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Lamons-main.jpg Tahlequah wrestler Hestin Lamons adds to memorable season with All-State triumph

    Hestin Lamons’ fitness regiment has been a grueling one this summer. It paid off in a big way at the All-State wrestling dual on Wednesday night.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Stocks