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US Basketball Tops Puerto Rico at World Championships

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points to lead the United States to a 111-100 victory over Puerto Rico in Saturday's opening round of the world basketball championships in Japan.

Teammates LeBron James and Kirk Hinrich each added 15 points against their Group D opponent. The U.S. was down by four points midway through the second quarter before taking a 57-51 halftime lead. Team USA put the game away early in the third quarter with a 12-2 run.

Puerto Rico's Carlos Arroyo of the NBA's Orlando Magic led his team with 23 points. Also in Group-D, Slovenia scored a 96-79 win over Senegal, and not even 30 points from Yao Ming could lead China to a win - the Chinese lost to Italy 84-69.

In today's other first round matches, two-time defending champion Serbia and Montenegro lost to Nigeria, 82-75 in Group-A. Fadi El Khatib scored 35 points to lead Lebanon to an 82-72 win over Venezuela. Also in Group-A, Olympic champion Argentina defeated France 80-70. Manu Ginobli led Argentina with 25 points.

In Group-B play, Germany defeated Japan 81-70 as Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks had 27 points and 10 rebounds for Germany. Angola scored an 83-70 win over Panama and Spain downed New Zealand, 86-70.

Australia upset Brazil 83-77 in Group C, thanks to Mark Worthington's 23 points. European champions Greece scored an 84-64 win over Qatar while Turkey downed Lithuania, 76-74.

The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout round. The championships end September 3.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.