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Olympic Notebook: USA Men’s Basketball, Serena Williams Cruise

Team USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski  wanted a spark, and he got five of them. Not exactly lighting it up in the first half against Tunsi, Krzyzewski started five reserves to open the second half and that unit blew open a 13-point game.  With Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams attacking, the Americans erupted for a 21-3 run that led to another United States cakewalk.

When it was done, the bench made up of five all-stars carried Team USA to a 110-63 conquest.

“That was a great lift, man. That’s the best thing about this team, there’s no drop off,” said starter Kevin Durant. “We’ve got All-Stars off the bench. Those guys did a great job for us.”

The score was 67-36  before any of the more celebrated starters finally got to play in the second half.

Anthony and Love scored 16 points apiece for the Americans, who gave the fans the dunk show they expected once the game was in hand. Durant had 13 and rookie Anthony Davis dunked his way to 12.

“It’s a different game to get ready for and I thought as a team overall we were ready, but it took like our bench to get us going defensively,” Krzyzewski said.

Next up for Team USA: Nigeria on Thursday.

Serena Williams Advances To Quarterfinals

Hardly breaking a sweat, Serena Williams dismantled Russian Vera Zvonareva, 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Williams had 12 aces and 32 winners.

The match was played under the Centre Court roof, and the conditions clearly suited the No. 4-seeded Williams. She swept the final 10 games, and fans unfurled U.S. flags when she closed out the victory after just 51 minutes.

Williams has lost only 10 games through three rounds. The third-time Olympian is the winner of two gold medals in doubles and 14 major titles, but she has yet to win a singles medal.

8 Badminton Players Disqualified

Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament, Indonesia’s team leader said Wednesday.

TheBadminton World Federation investigated two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. It accused them of “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport” in matches Tuesday night.

Erick Thohir, the head of Indonesia’s Olympic team, told The Associated Press that the Indonesian team will appeal. He also accused China of losing on purpose in the past.

“China has been doing this so many times and they never get sanctioned by the BWF,” Thohir said. “On the first game yesterday when China did it, the BWF didn’t do anything. If the BWF do something on the first game and they say you are disqualified, it is a warning for everyone.”

IOC Vice President Craig Reedie, the former head of the international badminton federation, welcomed the decision.

“Sport is competitive,” Reedie told the AP. “If you lose the competitive element, then the whole thing becomes a nonsense. You cannot allow a player to abuse the tournament like that, and not take firm action. So good on them.”

The players went before a disciplinary hearing Wednesday, a day after spectators at the arena booed their performance after it became clear they were deliberately trying to lose.

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