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USA Beats China in Mother of All Games (Updated)

The U.S. men easily dispatched China, 101-70, in the opening (BASKETBALL) game of the Olympics for both teams. The Chinese hung around early and were still within 12 at halftime to the massive delight of the home crowd, but predictably withered under full-court pressure and full-court athleticism in the second half. The Presidential party didn't stay for the end, likely for security reasons, but Bush could easily have left out of boredom as well.

Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting, and showed flashes of his previous dynamic form. LeBron James had 18, including several big dunks. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard both had 13. Yao led the Chinese with 13 points, and left late in the fourth quarter, raising his fist to the crowd, which serenaded him with the last of his ovations. After shooting just 1 of 12 from the three-point arc in the first half, the Americans made 5 of 11 in the second half, and then came the typical views of the U.S. players lounging and joking on the bench as they ran out the clock.

Afterward, the U.S. players were reveling in the idea of the game more than in their actual performance; the way the fans cheered for both teams, the way leaders filled the stands.

"We made history tonight," Carmelo Anthony said. "We can say that we were part of one of the biggest events in sports history.....Yeah of course we made history tonight, and I was a party of it."

"It's a totally different atmosphere here," Tayshaun Prince said. "When you have the opportunity to see the likes of Kobe and LeBron for the first time, that's making their world."

The best quote came from a foreign journalist in the post-game press conference. He called this "the mother of the all games." That's not a mistake.

To me, three things stood out about the win.

1) The Americans' pace is on a different level from any other team in this tournament. More than their size and athleticism, it's the relentless way they move up and down the court in transition that distinguishes them from the other teams that played here today. They were the only team of the day to break 100 points, and they must have had double the number of dunks of any other team.

2) And yet, for all of that, the Americans still don't look like they're even attempting to play the international style of basketball. Maybe the talent differential is such that they don't have to, but it just feels like they're playing a different sport than the 11 other teams.

"I'm not concerned," LeBron said. "We've just got to knock down shots. We had open looks. We're really not used to getting looks like that but we've got to knock them down, simple as that."

3) What should have been total garbage time in the last four or five minutes turned into a Chinese pep rally, with the fans still roaring for good moments, and Yao--by now on the bench--pumping his fist and screaming at his teammates during a 7-0 run. This was during a 31-point loss. Fans here were bubbling at the fact that their team had been right there through 14 minutes. That was enough.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 10, 2008; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  NBA , Olympics  
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Poor ole Henry the Kiss. A big dater and moviegoer a few years ago, he was snoozing behind the Bushes at this one. It's OK, it'll be one and done for them anyway.

Posted by: joe c | August 10, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This will be another embarrassing disappointment if the US a) can't make outside shots; and b) can't defend them. I know it was an easy win, but watching this team can be so frustrating at times.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | August 10, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

since when is basketball the mother of all games?

Posted by: maerc | August 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What the heck were they playing?! I read the whole artacal and it did not tell me what sport was being played.

Posted by: little yorkie | August 10, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Does any real sports fan genuinely care about Olympic basketball? Or the Olympics for that matter?

Posted by: Joe User | August 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Congrats. Having not much interest in the Olympics or sports in general, I had no idea what game you were talking about. A good writer makes things like that known right off the bat in the event that someone other than the target audience decides to read it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

little yorkie - you are clueles, it was basketball? If you knew the players you would know.

Posted by: Andy | August 10, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

lil it again, it does say so...and even if it didn't what sport has fast breaks, dunks, three point shots, and full court presses?

Posted by: tired of the critics | August 10, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The word "basketball" doesn't appear in the title. Indeed, it doesn't appear until the ninth paragraph. C'mon, Dan: Don't take us generalists for granted!

Posted by: Paul in Maryland | August 10, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

a win is a win

Posted by: little d | August 10, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article, but really quite frustrating that it never says what sport was being played. Sure, it becomes obvious that it's basketball, but this is the Olympics, and simply stating "...opening game of the Olympics for both teams." without mentioning which sport is poor journalism.

Posted by: mgil | August 10, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

good job. ftmfw.

Posted by: rocky balboa | August 10, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

You realize you only used the word "basketball" once in the entire article, and it was near the end? I learned a little better than that in my journalism classes... how about skipping the hyperbole ("Mother of All Olympic Games" my ass) and actually call it basketball? Near the beginning of the article would be nice, too.

Posted by: Sheri | August 10, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what sport it is? If you're an Olympic fan or a fan of either country you're interested in the article and you'll read it just because. Right?

Posted by: olympic fan | August 10, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Which sport are we talking about here? "Olympic game" doesn't mean you know. Pathetic.

Posted by: Stein Kenstone | August 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Guess what, Dan has a job in Journalism. That means he does a better job at it than you because it pays his bills! So you can continue to peck out your jealousy filled criticims in the comments block but I doubt he'll ever see it because I'm quite sure he's either already working on his next imperfect piece or on his way to the bank to cash his paycheck.

Posted by: Hatin on the Haters | August 10, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

My ninth grade grammar teacher recommended the following questions to ask yourself while writing effective news reports.
Who did it?
What did they do?
When did they do it?
Where did it happen?
Why did they do it?
How did they do it?

Posted by: wide-eyed reader | August 10, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny that almost all these comments here are from the exact same person, one minute after another, only with different handles.

Got nothing better to do on a Sunday morning pal?

Posted by: James | August 10, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

It was being called "mother of all games" because of all the hype surrounding it, and because it's attention-grabbing. And if you don't know the names and the terms used here, I guess you only wanted "basketball" mentioned earlier so you could have closed the article earlier.

Also, what real sports fan DOESN'T care about the Olympics?

Posted by: oriflamme | August 10, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but that was a horrible article. I agree that this Journalist currently pays his rent with this job. Yet, I certainly believe that by next week he will be substantiating his pay with McDollars.


Posted by: Wat Wuz Dat? | August 10, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

What are you Stupid? its says all that info, if you cant get the story from what he wrote. you must be semi-retarded. dont think so? go re-read it.

Posted by: Gawd | August 10, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If you are too stupid to know what sport Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwade Wade, Carmello Anthony, and Dwight Howard play, then you shouldn't be reading sports articles. Even simple knowledge of current events (from a couple years ago) would be enough to identify Kobe... Go climb back under that rock.

Posted by: duh | August 10, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Our point guard play is going to win the tournament for us - no team will be able to withstand their energy level, depth, or sheer skill.

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 10, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

yeah he didnt use the word basketball in the article but what person on the planet didnt know what sport it was by the score...101-70 common people , if you didnt know what sport it was then you need to get out more and be more involved in the suck...your stupid...stop hatin and find something real to b-i-t-c-h about

Posted by: you suck | August 10, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with duh... If you don't know these people why are you so obsessed with reading and then interpreting this article. You should just go find something better to occupy your time and mind with...

Posted by: c'mon now | August 10, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Look at the comments. It seems nobody likes your story?

Posted by: megri | August 10, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If any teams out there can defend the paint at all against USA, USA could be in trouble. Terrible outside shooting.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I also felt perturbed that basketball was not mentioned earlier in the article. The piece was interesting but needed more context. Most of us are not basketball fanatics and the Olympics are supposed to be a world event with many sports-- not just basketball.

Posted by: Brad | August 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Basketball wasn't the point of the article. I thought the point was always more important than the facts. Am I wrong?

Posted by: Vince | August 10, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

are you people serious...this has got to be a joke right, there cannot be this many stupid people in the world...yeah the olympics are a world sport but did you read the article. i didnt miss the word basketball because im not stupid...yeah kobe,lebron, and carmelo play tennis or for real...your stupid and you article it had enough info for me

Posted by: you suck | August 10, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Basketball fan, either. But, I'm also not an idiot. Ever heard of the Kobe Bryant rape case? That hardly received any media coverage. Ever seen a 'sports' commercial? All of these guys do LOTS of them.
The score and the names were PLENTY of information to infer the sport.
If the article had mentioned Tiger Woods, would you have known it was golf?

Once again, if you were too stupid to "figure it out", you shouldn't read ANY article pertaining to ANY sport, Olympic or otherwise.

Posted by: duh | August 10, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It is a horrbily written piece... Sports pieces like this are not meant for sports freaks.... The Olympics is about getting interested in all sports, and bringing new and casual fans in. For example, Yao is mentioned, but people outside of basketball don't know who he is, and why his mention is significant.
Aside from the drivel, I don't think it is surprising news... the U.S. is obviously going to dominate in Basektball... the news story should be about any outstanding ahtletes from China we can steal on the cheap... God knows the Pistons need a couple!!

Posted by: Bill | August 10, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

This is the stupidest article I have ever read. Mother of all games? Nowhere has this pea brained author deemed it fit to even mention which discipline of sport he is talking about. My countrymen are so fast becoming proverbial frog in the well generation of people for whom everything that happens in his small well is all he thinks there is to this world. It is dangerous, shameful and self destructing. No wonder every job is running away to a third world person or company.

Posted by: Arjun | August 10, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

In the very first sentence, he says this is (BASKETBALL). Learn to read

Posted by: John | August 10, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

We plan to sue the US team for stealing some of our signature moves, particularly the ridiculous alley-oops.

Posted by: Harlem Globetrotters | August 10, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The editor added (BASKETBALL), smart guy. Note that the title says "updated."

Posted by: Captain Obvious | August 10, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Is Yahoo linking to you from their sports page?

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of this stuff. The other day I was reading an article at the BBC's website and they talked about how the Russians were bombing Georgia. I'm not really a fan of world affairs (but I like to read major articles) and the clown of a journalist neglected to mention that it wasn't OUR Georgia! How was I supposed to know what Georgia the author was talking about?

Posted by: Jon | August 10, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, these commenters are even more stupid than the ones that came in droves post Gilbert pool pictures.

Who the heck is linking here?

Nice work Steinz, and please hit Coach K in the knee for Gary Williams. Thanks.

Posted by: JDP | August 10, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

usa is the best but i feel sorry for yao

Posted by: a | August 10, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

How did we suddenly get this mass of idiots leaving comments?

Keep on doin' what you do, Dan. You're kicking [heinie] and going [fortitude]-deep in the Sports B/Smog issues we all love.

Posted by: Lindemann | August 10, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Who cares! Just saw him appear on the FREE and HOT celebrity&millionaire dating site ~~~R i c hM a t c hM a k i n g .c o m ~~~ where you can meet many famous people and beauties. I have met my soul mate there. It is worthy of having a try.

Posted by: Jessie | August 10, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I've been commenting on this bog since the beginning and can't post that Amanda Beard is an attention wh*re, but some kid with nothing better to do is able to spam the comment section complaining that a bog post isn't an article?

Posted by: sitruc | August 11, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Team USA Dunkadelic-Crew featuring Kobe, LeBron, Melo, and D-Wade will dominate this Olympic competition because they will run, run, run, and run.

Posted by: Dunkadelic TV | August 11, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Team USA Dunkadelic-Crew featuring Kobe, LeBron, Melo, and D-Wade will dominate this Olympic competition because they will run, run, run, and run.

Posted by: Dunkadelic TV | August 11, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh the Olympics, how exciting! I can't wait for the "Ribbons on a Stick" contest!

Posted by: PKhanPie | August 11, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Dan, did Yahoo link you again? Are people reading a sports blog seriously complaining that they don't know what sport Kobe or Yao play? Or that a game that has been hyped as likely the "most watched sporting event in history" is being called the mother of all games? Doesn't seem to be an exaggeration to me.

Posted by: Anna | August 11, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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