Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 20 News List

US, Brazil set up battle of the


The US turned up the defense and turned away Canada.

The Americans held the Canadians to just two field goals in a dominant second quarter, pulling away for a 113-63 victory on Saturday to remain unbeaten in the FIBA Americas tournament.

Also on Saturday, Leandro Barbosa increased his tournament-leading scoring average with 36 points and Brazil hung on for a 93-89 victory over the US Virgin Islands, Uruguay clung on in frantic final seconds to beat Puerto Rico 82-79 and Argentina downed Mexico 104-83.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points but the US couldn't shake Canada until it tightened its defense after a competitive first quarter.

Brazil's win set up a meeting of the "unbeatens" as Brazil (3-0) face the US (3-0) on the final day of the first round. The winner will be the top seed from the five-team group heading into the four-game second round. The top two finishers in the 10-team tournament earn berths at the Beijing Olympics.

The Americans reached 100 points less than two-and-a-half minutes into the fourth quarter and are averaging 116 in the tournament -- not far off the record 121.2 the "Dream Team" put up in 1992.

Olumuyiwa Famutimi scored 17 points for Canada (2-2), who were playing for the fourth straight day and were overwhelmed by the Americans, who had Friday off.

The US Virgin Islands (0-3) team was setting up the biggest upset of the tournament when it took a 45-33 lead over Brazil in the second quarter, and was still ahead 48-41 at halftime.

Brazil finally found its shooting touch and starting playing defense in a dominant third quarter in which it outscored the Virgin Islands 31-15.

Brazil increased the lead to 15 points in the last quarter before its opponent had one final rally.

Uruguay (2-1) rallied behind Esteban Batista to overcome a 48-29 halftime deficit, taking the lead for good on Batista's second straight rebound basket that made it 78-76 with 1 minute, 2 seconds left.

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