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US men's basketball wins, breaks Olympic record

August 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
After being criticized for slow starts and outside shooting, the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team rewrote the record books with a 156-73 win over Nigeria during a preliminary round Thursday night.

They led by 26 in the first quarter, had an Olympic-record 78 points in the first half and Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points to break the U.S. single-game scoring record in less than three quarters.

"Our guys just couldn't miss," said coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Incredibly, they eclipsed the 100-point mark with 5 minutes still left in the third.

"When we get hot, it's a big problem," Kobe Bryant said. "So you have all these guys on one team and then all get hot on the same night, it's tough."

They broke the Olympic record for most points in a game with 4:37 still to play, and set U.S. records for 3-pointers (26), field goals (59) and field-goal percentage (71).

Gabby Douglas, nicknamed "The Flying Squirrel," won the top prize in gymnastics and her second gold medal Thursday. Douglas won the women's all-around title, becoming only the third American to win gymnastics' biggest prize.

With an electric floor routine and a dazzling smile, Douglas finished with a score of 62.232, about three-tenths ahead of Viktoria Komova of Russia, who was runner-up at last year's world championships.

The victory is likely to earn her big endorsements and cements her as one of America's biggest stars of the London Games.

History and trivia of Olympic gymnastics

Michael Phelps won gold in the 200-meter individual medley, becoming the first man to win the same individual event in three straight Olympics. It was his first individual gold of the London Games.

Phelps, who won the 4x200 relay earlier, clocked 1 minute, 54.27 seconds in the 200 IM for his record 20th career Olympic medal and 16th gold. American teammate Ryan Lochte touched in 1:54.90 to take the silver medal and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary was third in 1:56.22.

Lochte took bronze in the 200-meter backstroke event. Tyler Clary, of Riverside, passed the defending champion on the last lap and set an Olympic record to win. Clary clocked 1 minute, 53.41 seconds to improve on the previous mark of 1:53.94 set by Lochte at the 2008 Beijing Games in a now-banned bodysuit.

See which countries rank with the daily Olympic medal tracker

U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni set a world record when she won gold in the women's 200-meter breaststroke, clocking 2 minutes, 19.59 seconds.

Soni was also favored to win the 100 breast but took silver behind surprise 15-year-old winner Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania.

In women's tennis, Venus and Serena Williams reached the semifinals in doubles, beating No. 2-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-1, 6-1. The sisters, who have yet to lose a set through three rounds, are seeking their third gold medal in doubles. Serena is also into the semifinals in singles.

Read about the training secrets of the 2012 Olympians

In women's rowing eight, the U.S. won its second straight gold medal. The team held off Canada to get the gold, maintaining its six-year dominance of the high-profile event.

The U.S. won in a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds. Canada finished a half-length behind in second and the Netherlands took the bronze.

The U.S. hasn't lost a competitive race in the eight since winning the world title here in 2006.

In women's judo, Kayla Harrison gave the U.S. its first judo gold medal in Olympic history. She beat out Britain's Gemma Gibbons in a final she dominated from the start.

The 22-year-old Middletown, Ohio, native went to the medal podium determined not to cry, but after one note of "The Star-Spangled Banner," she succumbed.

"I'm just so honored to be America's first gold medalist, and so happy to realize my dream," she said. "I'm America's first gold medalist in judo - and always will be."

Check out photos of the 2012 London Olympics competitions

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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