Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008 | 9:17 a.m.
The U.S. national basketball team opened the Olympics on Sunday by belting China, 101-70, at Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing.
Team USA showed that it has used its training time in Las Vegas over the past three summers well by making 31 of its 46 shot attempts inside the 3-point line.
Dwyane Wade led everyone with 19 points and LeBron James had 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant scored 13 apiece, and center Yao Ming led China with 13 points.
Yao opened the game by hitting a 3-point shot to thrill the hometown crowd, and the Chinese stayed tight with the Americans until halfway through the second quarter.
Reserve center Chris Bosh slam dunked a rebound to break a 29-29 tie, and the U.S. was off to the races, fueled by consecutive dunks by Bryant.
Eight more inside shots, on layups, dunks or alley-oop jams, followed as Team USA led, 49-37, at the half.
Bryant started the third quarter with another dunk, and the Chinese went cold, sinking only three baskets in a quarter they lost 25-11.
After Michael Redd drilled a 3-point shot to give the U.S. an 84-50 advantage with about 7 minutes remaining in the game, President George Bush and his wife, Laura, rose from their seats and departed Wukesong.
China only shot 34.3 percent (23-of-67) from the field.
Team USA continues Group B action Tuesday against Angola, then plays Greece (Thursday), Spain (Saturday) and Germany (Aug. 18).