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USA Men's Hoop Up At Half

LONDON -- The U.S. men's basketball made an early artistic statement in the first half of its opener here Sunday afternoon, making several eye-popping plays and rolling to a 52-36 halftime lead over France.

LeBron James, playing the sort of team game he did in Beijing four years ago, was terrific. He made a 60-foot bounce pass through traffic after taking an outlet pass and found Kevin Durant for a dunk. Durant was sensational. He gives the Americans an added weapon that makes them near impossible to guard in the open floor.

France trailed by only one at the end of the first quarter, 22-21, but the U.S. began to find its three-point range in an 11-0 lead to start the second. The Americans do appear a bit vulnerable defensively in the paint when Tyson Chandler isn't on the floor, but they have the overall talent to compensate.

Tony Parker is playing in goggles and seems on his game for the French, who also have Boris Diaw, Rony Turiaf and Nick Batum. But the U.S. seems simply too good and too deep.

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