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He made two 3-pointers and had three more points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the period as the U.S. lead grew to 69-43. Australia was shut out for nearly half the period, finally scoring on Patrick Mills' 3-pointer with 6:02 remaining.
"Australia played extremely well for the first 20 minutes," James said. "In the third quarter, we said the first three or four minutes we need to pick it up a little bit defensively and make the extra pass offensively."
Mills, who plays at Saint Mary's College in California, led Australia with 20 points. Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut, who sat out the exhibition game while resting a sore ankle, was in early foul trouble and finished with only four points.
Now the Americans move on to the round where their recent dreams have died. They lost in the semis four years ago in Athens and then in the 2006 world championship.
Everywhere the Americans go, they are reminded of those recent failures. A back page ad in the China Daily on Wednesday had pictures of Bryant and James below a caption reading, "Nothing is more motivating than bronze."
The loaded U.S. team hasn't needed Bryant to be a scorer since he joined the team last year, so he's been content to be its top defender. He averaged 12.6 points in the preliminary round, but Wednesday was 10-for-16 from the floor, hitting four 3-pointers.
Anthony had 15 points for the Americans, who blew by the 103 points they averaged in group play and shot 57 percent.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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