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  • 07:58 AM ET  08.14

Full time: And that's a wrap from Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing, where Team USA has passed its first real test of the Olympic tournament, clinched a berth in the medal round starting next Wednesday and avenged its 2006 FIBA Worlds semifinal upset at the hands of Greece. Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh finished with 18 points apiece to pace the Americans. But game ball goes to LeBron James, who added 13 points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists -- a do-everything effort which ensured Greece would never pull within striking distance after the first quarter. Next up for Team USA: A Saturday clash with reigning world champion Spain at 10:15 a.m. ET. 

0:44.0, 4th: Deron Williams hits a trifecta to open a 92-67 edge -- Team USA's largest lead of the contest at 25 points. 

1:16, 4th: Michael Redd cans a three-pointer from the corner to put the U.S. ahead 89-67. Hey, has anybody seen Dwight Howard?

3:03, 4th: Bourousis puts down another cosmetic basket for the Greeks to cut the lead to 84-64.

5:23, 4th: Carlos Boozer checks into the game for the U.S., and quickly gets into the scorebook with a lay-up to open the lead to 82-57. Each of Team USA's 12 players has gotten some burn today.

7:33, 4th: Yet another turnover near midcourt for the Greeks, who have really struggled with Team USA's formidable half-court press. With the result no longer in doubt, it'll be interesting to see how Coach K handles the endgame. Leave in the preferred team and send a message for a potential rematch in the medal round? Or call off the dogs?

8:52, 4th: Another missed three-pointer for Greece. They're 3-for-17 from beyond the arc by my count -- the kiss of death for a team which relies on the long-range jumper when their interior offense is neutralized.

End, 3rd: The U.S. is shooting a perfect 50.0 percent from the floor through a half hour: 28-for-56. Kobe Bryant leads all scorers with 18 points but it's Dwayne Wade's 16 points which have really given the U.S. a boost off the bench from the second quarter onward.

0:01.3, 3rd: Wade receives a pass from Paul and slashes toward the goal, depositing a lay-up as the whistle blows. He sinks the foul shot to complete the three-point play and open a commanding 74-54 edge.

0:37.3, 3rd: Dwyane Wade just drove the baseline and tried to get acrobatic, but drew heavy contact and went to the line for the pair. He split the foul shots to open a 71-54 lead with the third quarter winding down.

3:08, 3rd: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant pin a pair of shots against the glass to interrupt a Greek fast break, but Spanoulis manages to bring in the ball and draw a foul from Deron Williams. He sinks a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 65-49 -- but a quick four-point run re-opens the American lead to 20. 

5:56, 3rd: Kobe Bryant just drilled a three-pointer in the face of his defender to extend the U.S. lead to a game-high 23 points. With about 16 minutes remaining in regulation and the Greek offense continuing to stall, it may be curtains. 

7:35, 3rd: Papaloukas nails a three-pointer to cut the U.S. lead to 17 points. The inability to make long-range jumpers has really hurt Greece today, and they'll need the three-pointer if they reserve any hopes of cutting into this significant deficit.

8:06, 3rd: The Greek team makes its first three-pointer of the game on a set drive-and-kick play, but Kobe Bryant counters with a basket on the other end.

9:31, 3rd: Harrassed by the American defensive pressure, Greece settles for a low-percentage shot on their first possession of the quarter. Not a promising start for a team which really lost grasp of its game plan when the first half started spinning out of control for them.

10:00, 3rd: Ceremonial point guard Jason Kidd is back on the court for the U.S. to start the third quarter -- though if he keeps hacking away at today's pace, he'll have fouled out just before the nine-minute mark.

Halftime: The Americans overcame a strange start -- three fouls for Jason Kidd in less than a minute-and-a-half? -- before getting their sea legs and throttling the Greeks on both ends of the court. They've opened a 23-13 advantage on the boards and have made better than half of their shots from the floor, shooting 20-for-39 (or 51.3 percent). Chris Bosh leads all scorers with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting, exploting the size advantage to full effect. He's given the team an important burst of energy off the bench against the undersized, overmatched Greek frontcourt.

0:02.0, 2nd: Bosh gets stuck on an island defensively on the final possession of the first half, guarding Spanoulis about 22 feet from the basket. But when the Greek guard pulls up for a three-pointer, Bosh times his leap perfectly and stuffs the shot, with the horn sounding just seconds later. The play punctuates a nearly perfect second quarter for Team USA, who outscored Greece by a 31-16 margin to take total command of the contest.

1:30, 2nd: Chris Bosh attacks the goal and puts down a basket while drawing a foul. He completes the old-fashioned three-point play to give the U.S. a 49-30 lead. The scoring play extends a 22-8 run for Team USA.

2:05, 2nd: Team USA's furious half-court press forces another turnover. The ball pops free, LeBron sprints away from his assignment, picks it up mid-sprint and throws down a vicious two-handed reverse dunk to open a 46-30 lead. It's starting to get away from Greece during the last minutes before halftime.

2:52, 2nd: Kobe Bryant drains a three-pointer to open an 11-point lead -- Team USA's largest of the game. Kobe leads all scorers with 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting.

3:45, 2nd: Carmelo Anthony looks sloppy running the one-on-three fast break. But while his twisting driving lay-up attempt draws iron, LeBron James was trailing to throw down the carom. The two-handed dunk. As adamant and intelligent as Greece has looked on offense at times today, some of their turnovers have looked headscratchingly silly. But maybe that's a credit to Team USA's ratcheted-up pressure.

5:29, 2nd: Team USA has surrendered two easy scores to its opponent on back-to-back possessions. But while they've lapsed on defense -- and they have demonstrated a tendency to lose concentration on the defensive end from time to time -- they've really heated up on offense. Dwyane Wade just banged a three-pointer to open a double-digit lead for the first time today. It's 36-26.

6:23, 2nd: You can nitpick their flaws to death, but Team USA is really a marvel in the open court. They change from defense to offense so quickly, it's no surprise they prefer an up-tempo contest. Just there, LeBron received a pass from Chris Paul on the break and drove the lane while drawing a foul. The shot missed the mark but LeBron made one of two fouls to open a 28-22 lead.

7:05, 2nd: Ionnis Bourousisis is fouled by Chris Bosh while attempting a dunk. He splits a pair of fouls to cut the USA lead to 27-22.

7:28, 2nd: Chris Paul just picked up his second foul for Team USA, but he'll stay in the game even though Kidd is on the bench with three fouls. 

8:43, 2nd: LeBron James gets into the open court off another Greece turnover and throws down a beautiful one-handed breakway jam. Team USA with its largest lead of the game at 26-18. The American defense really seems to be clicking right now. Greece is no longer dictating their preferred offensive pace.

9:26, 2nd: Dwyane Wade, careening out of bounds, manages to fire a picture-perfect alley-oop pass to Kobe Bryant, who flushes through a ferocious slam dunk to ignite the Beijing crowd.

9:46, 2nd: Papaloukas, who demonized Team USA with his eight-assist performance in the semifinals of the 2006 FIBA Worlds, just fired a pass into the sixth row on Greece's first possession of the second quarter. Team USA ball.

End, 1st: The Americans overcame a lackadaisical and foul-plagued start, closing the first quarter on an 11-3 run to stake a 20-16 lead through 10 minutes. Kobe Bryant leads all scorers with six points on 2-for-4 shooting.

1:03, 1st: Dwyane Wade, the sixth man par excellence during the Olympic tournament thus far, slashes into the lane and puts in a lay-up. The score extends an 11-1 run for Team USA.

1:46, 1st: Chris Bosh completes a three-point play by sinking a free throw, after missing the first but getting a second chance on a lane violation.

2:25, 1st: Kobe Bryant puts down a basket, extending a quick 6-0 spurt for the Americans. Team USA has used the run to pull back in front at 15-13.

4:06, 1st: Chris Paul slips in the lane, coughs it up and a half-dozen blue and white shirts crash to the floor. Intense atmosphere early. The Americans haven't have a fight on their hands quite like this against China or Angola.

5:56, 1st: Vasilopoulos just grabbed the rebound off his own missed free throw and despoited it into the goal for two points, completing an unorthodox three-point play. Anybody want to box out? Greece is doing an excellent job of asserting the tempo in the opening stages. Team USA looking flat early. 

6:15, 1st: Carmelo Anthony cans a three-pointer from the baseline off a Chris Paul assist to take the lead back for the Americans.

6:54, 1st: Antonios Fostis scores to give Greece their first lead of the game at 6-4. Seems like a pro-Greece crowd.

7:39, 1st: Vasileios Spanoulis just drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Kobe Bryant, which means two foul shots and the ball under FIBA rules. That's five team fouls for Team USA already, meaning Greece will be shooting free throws on every foul for the rest of the first quarter.

8:10, 1st: Dwight Howard just picked up a foul -- the fourth of the game for the Americans in less than two minutes of regulation. They're calling it very tight early.

8:35, 1st: Jason Kidd's disappointing Olympics continue. The veteran point guard just picked up his third foul in the first 85 seconds of the contest. Chris Paul enters the game.

9:28, 1st: Kobe Bryant, who's struggled with his jumper in Beijing, opens the scoring with a 15-footer. Good sign for the U.S.

10:00, 1st: We're ready to get going from Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing. Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are starting for the Americans, who are wearing white. Dimitrios Diamantidis, Vasileios Spanoulis, Antonios Fotsis, Panagiotis Vasilopoulos and Andreas Glyniadakie for Greence, who are wearing blue.

* * *

It's been 713 days since Greece upended Team USA in the semifinals of the FIBA World Championship in Saitama, Japan. After nearly two years, the Americans get a shot at revenge this morning at Beijing's Wukesong Indoor Stadium.

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