BILBAO, Spain -- The U.S. held Finland without a basket in the second quarter, opening defence of its title with a 114-55 romp Saturday in the Basketball World Cup. Silencing the Finns in the second quarter on the scoreboard and in the stands, where their rabid fans filled an entire side of the arena, the Americans allowed just a pair of free throws in the period, outscoring their overmatched opponents 29-2 to open a 60-18 advantage. Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Anthony Davis had 17 for the U.S., which will play Turkey on Sunday in a rematch of the 2010 world basketball championship gold-medal game. The event has since been renamed, but nothing else looks different for the Americans, who won their 55th straight game. Finland was 0 for 17 in the second quarter, missing all six 3-point attempts, and missed 19 straight shots over the second and third quarters before Tuukka Kotta ended the drought with a basket with 8:48 remaining in the third that made it 62-20. The Finns were making their World Cup debut as a wild card and didnt do much to prove they deserved it after the opening minutes. They missed all 13 3-point attempts in the first half but finally saw some shots fall after halftime when the game was long decided, giving their expected 8,000 fans who travelled here the chance to cheer. The Americans played just four exhibition games and acknowledged they would have to use their five group stage games to continue improving a team whose players average just over 24 years of age, the youngest it has ever sent using professionals. No problem against the Finns, where their size and athletic advantages made it look like men against boys. And even if they draw host Spain in Madrid on Sept. 14 in the championship game, they wouldnt face a crowd that was much louder than this. Fans wearing Finnish blue and white were pouring out of the exits of the metro station outside the arena by the dozens more than two hours before the start, looking like college football alums arriving for a Saturday morning tailgate. They filled nearly every seat behind one of the baskets, cheering loudly from warmups straight through the opening minutes, when Erik Murphy made the games first basket. He had Finlands next bucket to tie it at 4 but then picked up a third foul just over 2 minutes into the game and had to go to the bench, leaving the Finns without nobody who could compete in the paint. It was 31-16 after one, but after Teemu Rannikkos free throws cut it to 39-18 with about 6 1/2 minutes remaining, the U.S. scored the final 21 points of the half, forcing a missed shot on defence, then running out for a layup. Every U.S. player scored. Finland finished just ninth in last years European championship, failing to qualify automatically for the World Cup. But the Finns, ranked 39th, became the lowest-ranked team ever to receive a wild card, with basketball governing FIBA noting Finlands improvement on the court and the strength of its fan base. And it didnt hurt that Finnish company Rovio, maker of the Angry Birds games, offered to provide advertising for FIBA if Finland was selected. But none of those could help on the court, where all the best players were wearing red, white and blue and delivered highlight plays, with Derrick Rose flashing his old explosiveness with a second quarter drive and dunk. Bobby Wagner Jersey
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. Damyean Dotson, 19, Dominic Artis, 19 and Brandon Austin, 18, were suspended after the school received a police report concerning allegations made by a student who said she was assaulted by the players in early March.PARIS -- Trying to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open is, without a doubt, the toughest task in tennis. Indeed, must be among the greatest challenges in all of sports. The pressure he applies, from set to set, game to game, point to point, shot to shot. That bullwhip of a high-bouncing, topspin lefty forehand. Those quick-reflex returns that help him break an opponents serve -- and his will. Doing what he does so well on the red clay of Roland Garros, a surface and site he dominates so completely, the No. 1-seeded Nadal wore down No. 2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in a muggy final Sunday to win his ninth French Open championship and fifth in a row, both records. "For me," Nadal said, "playing here in Roland Garros is just unforgettable, forever." It is also his 14th Grand Slam title overall, tying the 28-year-old Spaniard with Pete Sampras for the second most by a man, behind only Roger Federers 17. That includes Nadals two trophies apiece at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, along with one from the Australian Open, proving he can beat the best on grass and hard courts, too. But its on the clay of Paris where Nadal reigns supreme: He has won 66 of 67 career French Open matches. Since the only loss, against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009, Nadal has won 35 consecutive matches at Roland Garros. No other man has won more than seven titles at any of tennis four majors. "Its not impossible, but its very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court, throughout the whole match, on the highest level of performance," said Djokovic, who was broken in the final game of each set, including with an anticlimactic double-fault on match point. Nadal ensured that he, not Djokovic, will be ranked No. 1 on Monday. In the process, Nadal once again prevented six-time major champion Djokovic from completing a career Grand Slam. "He deserves to win this tournament," Nadal said. "I am sure he will do it in the future." Djokovic had won their four most recent matches, including on clay in the best-of-three-set final at Rome last month. Beating Nadal in best-of-five is a whole other matter. Nadal also topped Djokovic in the 2012 final, and the 2013 semifinals. In all, Naddal leads Djokovic 6-0 at the French Open, 9-3 at major tournaments, and 23-19 in total.dddddddddddd No other pair of men has played each other as often. The defeat in Rome was one of three this season on clay for Nadal, raising questions about whether hed be unbeatable at Roland Garros this time. There also was the matter of his troublesome back, which flared up during a loss to Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final and slowed his serve at times during the French Open. For 3 1/2 hours Sunday, when the sky was crystal clear and the temperature touched 80 degrees (27 Celsius), Djokovic gave everything he had, even spitting up on court. "I played at the maximum of my power, my strength, and my capability," Djokovic said, "but Rafa was the best player." Using his backhand to great effect against Nadals forehand early, Djokovic grabbed the first set, and got to 5-all in the second. "I felt," Nadal said, "the match was more in his hands at the beginning." Knowing that overcoming a two-set hole might be too much even for him, Nadal raised his level, taking 20 of 26 points to claim that set and a 3-0 lead in the third. "Without that second set, I dont know if I have this trophy with me now," Nadal would say later. When a down-the-line forehand winner ended the second set, Nadal leaped and shook both fists, his first sign of real emotion. "The momentum went (to) his side," Djokovic said. "I started playing quite bad and didnt move as well. Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set." That was apparent. His cheeks were flushed. He put his hand on his heaving chest. He wobbled and nearly fell over while sitting on his changeover bench. Still, after trailing 4-2 in the fourth, Djokovic made one last stand. As skilled a retriever as his formidable foe -- Djokovic won 10 of the first 15 points that lasted at least 10 strokes -- he came up with a desperation defensive lob that landed right near the baseline, drawing a netted overhead from Nadal to earn a break point. Soon, it was 4-all. But Nadal steadied himself to hold to 5-4, then broke one last time. Soon enough, he was clutching the French Open trophy, his trophy. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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