FINAL 1 2 3 4 T
USA 30 36 25 23 114
Slovenia 27 22 21 25 95

USA Basketball improved its record to 3-0.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

Second-Quarter Surge Lifts U.S. Past Slovenia

SAPPORO, Japan, Aug. 22 -- Pressure defense along with fast-breaking, unselfish offense has been Team USA's strategy at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

USA Basketball used that formula Tuesday to remain unbeaten, posting a 114-95 victory over Slovenia.

After trailing by five points in the first quarter, Team USA, which clinched a spot in the round of 16, went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

USA Basketball outscored Slovenia 36-22 in the second quarter to take a 66-49 halftime lead and firmly take control of the game.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and LeBron James had 19 for USA Basketball, which forced 25 turnovers and handed out 21 assists.

"We started off slow," James said. "We have had a problem starting out slow lately and we have to get that situated. The second group came in, put extremely good pressure on and then the first group came back in and kept up the pressure. We got some easy buckets off our defense and took care of business. Itís very important to keep it up in the second half. Halftime is one of those times where you can get a letdown if you arenít careful. Tonight we didnít let that happen. We knew that Slovenia is a very good team, so we had to take care of business.Ē

Chris Paul did an excellent job directing the offensive attack for Team USA, giving out nine assists, and Elton Brand (16) and Carmelo Anthony (14) also scored in double digits.

Slovenia, which dropped to 1-2, was led by Sani Becirovic's 18 points and Primoz Brezec scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Team USA will play two more preliminary round games in Group D.

Next up for the United States is a showdown with Italy, which is also 3-0, on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

ďWeíre looking forward to playing Italy tomorrow," Anthony said. "We know itís going to be a good game, a physical game. We are looking forward to playing them.Ē


Photos: Check out Tuesday's gallery from Team USA's win over Slovenia.
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Aug. 22: USA-Slovenia postgame

PtsWade 20 Becirovic 18
RebHinrich 7Brezec 12
AstPaul 9Three with 2

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