Alexa

U.S. holds out gutsy Mexico; Puerto Rico downs Brazil in FIBA Americas

U.S. holds out gutsy Mexico; Puerto Rico downs Brazil in FIBA Americas

Mexico kept the game respectable into the second half Monday before the United States pulled away for a 127-100 victory in the second round of the FIBA Americas tournament.
Also, Puerto Rico downed Brazil 97-75, Argentina routed Venezuela 86-63, and Canada outmuscled Uruguay 95-88.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points, tying the American record in an Olympic qualifier. He had 16 in a sensational opening quarter, when the Americans shot 80 percent from the field.
The Mexicans, who sneaked into the second round through a three-team tiebreaker, outplayed their more fancied counterparts for much of the next two periods before the U.S. put them away for good late in the third.
Kobe Bryant added 21 points, and LeBron James and Dwight Howard had 19 apiece for the United States, which led by only 15 points midway through the third quarter after beating its first four opponents by 48.4 points per game. The Americans face Puerto Rico on Tuesday night.
Mexico rarely showed the pressure defensive style the Richardson used at Arkansas, but hustled for offensive rebounds and shot 15-of-28 from 3-point range to hang around.
Romel Beck, who played for University of Nevada, Las Vegas, scored 20 points for Mexico, which plays Brazil on Tuesday.
Earlier, Larry Ayuso had 24 points for Puerto Rico, the last team to advance to the second round of the tournament that decides two berths in the Beijing Olympics. Panama had to lose its game against Argentina on Sunday for Puerto Rico to move on, and it looked bad with Argentina down nine points with four minutes to play.
But Argentina rallied to win in overtime and Puerto Rico made a statement with its second chance, dominating all but the third quarter in the win over Brazil.
Puerto Rico opened the game with a 14-4 run and led 39-28 at halftime. But Brazil started to find some offensive flow in the third quarter as Leandro Barbosa finally snapped out of his funk that started the night before in a 113-76 loss to the United States.
Brazil got within 62-54 with 21 seconds left in the third quarter but Puerto Rico went on a 19-2 run for an 81-56 lead with 4:30 to play and cruised from there.
Peter John Ramos and Filiberto Rivera both had 14 points for Puerto Rico and Carlos Arroyo finished with 11.
Barbosa finished with 34 points, 26 in the second half, on 10-for-20 shooting and was 12-for-13 from the free throw line.
Carlos Delfino had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Argentina hit 14 3-pointers in the win Venezuela.
Roman Gonzalez had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting to lead Argentina, which finished the first round as the only other unbeaten side other than the United States. The two meet on Thursday to close the second round.
Delfino was 3-for-3 on 3s in the first half as Argentina took a 51-34 lead and coasted.
Delfino finished 4-for-5 from behind the arc and Paolo Quinteros added three 3s as eight players hit 3-pointers for Argentina, which at one point was 11-for-18 from long range.
Carlos Cedeno had 15 points for Venezuela, which was coming off its lone win of the first round, over the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the tournament format, that win didn't carry to the second round, however, since the U.S. Virgin Islands didn't advance.
Canada got physical with Uruguay and used its size advantage to lead for the entire game. Jesse Young had 22 points, Levon Kendall had nine points and nine rebounds and Samuel Dalembert had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks to lead Canada.
Young, who had a total of 29 points in Canada's four opening-round games, was 10-for-16 from the field. But it was on the defensive end where he and his fellow big men were even more impressive.
Uruguay's Esteban Batista entered the game as the tournament's leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 23 points and 14.5 rebounds. He finished with 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting and had six rebounds against Canada.
Uruguay coach Alberto Espasandin said Batista was "overwhelmed."
A lot of the defense came from Dalembert, who leads the tournament with three blocks per game and if intimidated shooters were a statistic, he would lead in that as well.
Canada finished with a 43-29 rebound advantage and Kendall got eight in the second half when Young and Dalembert spent time on the bench either because of foul trouble or just getting a breather.