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China fired up in 101-70 loss to U.S. Dream Team
2008/08/11

Yao Ming of China (C) blocks the rival's shooting during Men's Preliminary Round Group B game 12 between USA and China of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games basketball event at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. USA beat China 101-70. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

Yao Ming of China (C) blocks the rival's shooting during Men's Preliminary Round Group B game 12 between USA and China of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games basketball event at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. USA beat China 101-70. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

    By Sportswriter Shan Lei

    BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- It was not just a game of basketball. It was a contest of determination and belief.

    Billions of fans watched China's 101-70 loss to the United States in the men's basketball competitions of the Beijing Olympic Games at the Wukesong Stadium on Sunday night.

    Nevertheless, China were fired up to have the battle with one of the world best teams, impressing the world with their fighting spirit while the U.S. showcased the brilliance of dunking skills.

    Dwayne Wade was perfect in the field (7-7) and on the foul line (7-7) to score 19 points while LeBron James added 18 points to the U.S..

Jason Kidd (R) of USA blocks Liu Wei of China during Men's Preliminary Round Group B game 12 between USA and China of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games basketball event at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

Jason Kidd (R) of USA blocks Liu Wei of China during Men's Preliminary Round Group B game 12 between USA and China of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games basketball event at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

    Yao Ming scored 13 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and gave out three blocks for China. He received a full-house applause when he was taken off the court with 4:41 minutes left.

    The Houston Rockets' center was determined to produce one of the best games in the Olympic history after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao paid an unprecedented visit to the national team before the Games and gave his personal concern on Yao's foot injury.

    "Everyone is proud. I felt great with all the flags and cheerings. It's a great game, great atmosphere," Yao said.

    On the other hand, with U.S. President George W. Bush on the standings, the U.S. ran a fluid game to entertain the over-packed 18,000-capacity stadium. They finished almost every fast break with a dunk.

    "It's an emotional game, especially to China as they played in front of their people. This is a game full of meanings. We're excited with so many people giving extra attention to the game," Chris Bosh said.

    "This is a historical game, which means a lot to both sides. Both showed their best tonight and I'm so excited to play the game," Chinese forward Zhu Fangyu said.

    Yao opened the match with an astonished 3-pointer and China led 6-2 on another 3-pointer from guard Sun Yue, who agreed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

    The U.S. took the lead with a 9-0 run on 16-11 and maintained it on 20-16 in the first quarter.

    China lost the rhythm in the second quarter as the U.S. chased them back on every possession and scored 16 points on fast breaks to call up the first half 49-37.

    The deep-benched U.S. continued the trend to beat China 25-11 in the third quarter, 74-48.

    Deron Williams had seven consecutive points and Michael Redd buried two 3-pointers in row to give the U.S. a 87-52 lead after four minutes in the fourth quarter.

    China, however, did not give up the match as Yi Jianlian answered seven points and China ran for 10-0 to cut it 89-64 after Yao was benched for four fouls.

    "We came out for one of the best games at Olympics. We tried our best to make it tough to them, but they were a better team than us. It's a great game for both teams," said Zhu, who had 11 points and eight rebounds.

    Fans chanted "Jiayou, Jiayou (let's go)" throughout the match, applauded on China's every basket and sang together the national anthem at the beginning of the match.

    "We were more determined and better prepared at the start, so we had a lead in the first quarter. But we lost the consistency in the second half, making too many turnovers. In the second half we didn't do well on defence. It would have been a more competitive match if we could have keep the form in the first quarter," China head coach Jonas Kazlauskas said.

    Both teams received a standing ovation from the audiences when they left the court.

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