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LAS VEGAS (FIBA Americas Championship) - LeBron James’ thunderous baseline dunk with just over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter might have been the signature play of the period, but it was the quick 15 points Michael Redd racked up that helped the USA build an early lead which the U.S. Virgin Islands would never challenge. The USA coasted for the second consecutive night, this time by a final score of 123-59.
The 42-point outburst by the USA in the opening stanza was fueled by Redd’s fluid stroke, as the sharpshooting guard hit three-of-four three-pointers in the period before ultimately finishing with a game high 22 points. Carmelo Anthony also tallied 22 for the winners.
The home crowd had plenty of opportunities to rise and cheer the Americans, as a seemingly endless string of and alley-oops and three-pointers characterized the night. The USA outscored the Virgin Islands 31-0 in fast break points and connected on 15-of-30 three-point field goals.
Alphonso Sheppard led the Virgin Islands with 11 points while Carl Krauser chipped in with nine in defeat.
With 8:28 remaining in the third quarter, Kobe Bryant stepped to the line to shoot two free throws and the crowd at Thomas & Mack Center showered him with “Happy Birthday” to commemorate his 29th. Bryant hit both foul shots.