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US basketballers arrive in Shanghai
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The United States men's basketball team bristles with confidence for upcoming two warm-ups and the Olympic Games after clinching easy victories in the past three matches.

"I'm excited to be here. The whole team is healthy. I'm looking forward to good performances in the games in Shanghai, to get ready to the Olympics," Kobe Bryant said on Saturday after the U.S. team arrived Shanghai.

The U.S. will play against European champion Russia on Sunday and Australia on Tuesday at the Qizhong Forest Sports City, southwest of Shanghai.

They beat Lithuania 120-84 on Friday and defeated Turkey 114-82 on Wednesday, both at Macao. They also trounced Canada 120-65 at Las Vegas before they came to China.

"We spent last three years together. We love international games, and showed lots of respect to international games," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Some great officials came in to teach us the international rules. The U.S. team is more comfortable under international rules. We made good adjustment to them."

Though averaging a 41-point margin in these victories, Coach K said the Olympics would not be easy as warm-ups.

"I'm not seeing anybody can breeze through the Olympic Games. We want to win the gold medal. It doesn't matter whether we win it by 30 or 40 points. I won't say we'll breeze through at Olympics," he said.

Jason Kidd said, "We have lots of respects to our opponents (at the Olympics). We're not going to play to score. We must make sure not to be knocked out from the preliminary round."

The U.S. will play their Olympic debut against China on Aug. 10 at the Beijing Games, which starts on Aug. 8.

(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2008)

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