Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2014 Contents A61
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BARCELONA---They have a
gold medal to chase and a gold-
en US basketball legacy to pro-
tect, so the Americans knew
they had to bring their best to
Stephen Curry sure did.
Curry made six three-pointers
and scored 20 points, leading
the US national team into the
quarterfinals of the Basketball
World Cup with an 86-63 vic-
tory over Mexico yesterday.
The Golden State Warriors
All-Star was seven of 10 from
the field and six of nine behind
the arc, further evidence that
one of the game s best shooters
was moving past his dismal start
to the tournament.
He said his team is improving
with every game, just as a sim-
ilarly young US squad did four
years ago in winning gold in
"In 2010, we did that," Curry
said. "Every game was fun, it
was energetic, just enjoying the
ride and I think now we re here
in Barcelona and got our first
medal game under our belt, we
got the wheels going and excited
to get back to work on Tuesday."
Warriors teammate Klay
Thompson added 15 points for
the Americans, who next play
Slovenia, which beat Dominican
Curry was just 4 for 17 overall
in his first two games, though
he shot the ball better over the
next three. He saved his best
performance for Barcelona,
where the Americans are used
He made consecutive 3s early
in the third quarter when the
Americans put away the game,
the second coming as he was
knocked down by a defender
who was lucky not to be called
for a foul.
Gustavo Ayon scored 25 points
for Mexico, which won last year s
Fiba Americas tournament to
qualify and then advanced as the
despite a 2-3 record.
The six-foot-nine Ayon played
for the Atlanta Hawks last season
but his season was cut short by
right shoulder surgery in Feb-
He is a free agent and showed
enough footwork and shooting
touch to warrant a look from
"I m very happy about my
own participation in this game
but I know I have to keep work-
ing as a team, as a player," Ayon
said through an interpreter.
He couldn t prevent what
ended up as the usual American
romp in Barcelona, where the
Dream Team crushed the com-
petition in the 1992 Olympics.
The Americans averaged 117.3
points and won by 43.8 points
a game then at nearby Badalona,
but expect things to be a little
more difficult at the Palau Sant
Jordi, where they would play
through the semifinals before
advancing to Madrid for the Sep-
tember 14 championship game.
"They won, so we just have
to do the same thing," centre
Davis scored only four points
and power forward Kenneth
Faried had eight after they were
the Americans dominant players
in the first round.
The US compensated by mak-
ing 13 three-pointers, with their
top three scorers all perimeter
"For a few games I think our
perimeter guys were just really
trying to get Anthony off
because we had not looked for
him and the pendulum went too
far, where we re looking at that
too much," US coach Mike
Krzyzewski said. "And today it s
swinging more into the middle,
and if we get that balance then
we ll be a very good---we think
we are a good offensive team---
but we can be an outstanding
offensive team if we get that bal-
ance." The US, which had some
poor starts in previous games,
surged to a 13-2 lead. After Mex-
ico answered with seven straight,
the Americans pushed the score
to 23-13 after one period.
It stayed in double digits for
nearly the entire second quarter,
though Ayon had a 10-point
period to keep the Americans
from getting too far ahead, and
it was 42-27 at halftime.
Curry s consecutive threes
made it 50-27. He had back-to-
back baskets again later in the
third, including a layup for his
only one inside the arc, before
DeMarcus Cousins basket made
Despite being bordering coun-
tries, the teams hadn t met since
the 2007 Olympic qualifying
tournament. They hadn t played
in the World Cup since 1967.
James Harden finished with
12 points for the US Cousins,
praised by Krzyzewski for anoth-
er strong performance, made all
five shots and had 11 points and
seven rebounds off the bench.
Also yesterday, France had to
come back and then hold on to
eliminate Croatia 68-64. (AP)
Curry's six threes send US
to b-ball Worlds quarters
Kenneth Faried of the US, centre, vies for the ball over Mexico's Hector
Hernandez, left, during Basketball World Cup Round of 16 match
between United States and Mexico at the Palau Sant Jordi in
Barcelona, Spain, yesterday. USA won 86-63 to advance to the
quarterfinals. AP PHOTO
MONZA---Lewis Hamilton and Nico
Rosberg are poised for another wing-
to-wing duel in the Italian Grand Prix.
After colliding in Belgium two weeks
ago and ensuing disciplinary measures,
the Mercedes rivals qualified 1-2 yes-
terday and it will be tough for the pair
to avoid each other entering the tricky
first chicane at the Monza circuit.
"I ve been racing for many years and
I haven t collided with too many people.
So I ll just continue to race the way I
do," Hamilton said after breaking Ros-
berg s stranglehold on pole position. "I
just want to win the right way."
Rosberg had taken four straight poles
and six of the last seven.
Hamilton clocked 1 minute, 24.109
seconds, Rosberg was second in 1:24.383,
and Valtteri Bottas of Williams qualified
third in 1:24.697 for his third top-three
qualifying spot in four races.
Rosberg holds a 29-point lead over
Hamilton in the standings, the biggest
it has been all season.
A big part of the gap was built in the
controversial Belgian GP in Spa, where
Rosberg finished second after crashing
into Hamilton early and sending out his
teammate. Rosberg was disciplined by
Mercedes, and while no team orders
were installed, the pair was told explicitly
not to make contact again.
"In more difficult times you learn the
most," said Rosberg, who was booed on
the podium in Spa. "I ve learned a lot
of things." Mercedes executive director
Toto Wolff was more categorical about
the lessons offered. "This is Mercedes
and we don t expect them to crash (into)
each other, even if the championship is
secure," he said. "But the championship
is not secured. We have seven races to
go and this why we must get our head
down now and get back to scoring
points. "We haven t done that very well
in Hungary and in Spa," Wolff added,
referring to the last two races, which
were both won by Daniel Ricciardo of
Red Bull. "Maybe in a few races we have
a completely different situation and
again we assess, and then maybe it s
about unleashing the leash a little bit
more." When Hamilton was asked what
effect the team s warning would have
on him on Sunday, he replied: "It won t
be ringing in my ears. We are free to
race. That was the decision last week
so it continues as usual."
Rosberg reportedly received a hefty
fine for the Spa incident but he, too,
didn t appear ready to change tactics.
The relations between the drivers also
Rosberg didn t seem interested in con-
gratulating Hamilton on his pole posi-
tion. Likewise, Hamilton appeared to
do his best to ignore Rosberg after they
got out of their cars.
After taking off his helmet, Hamilton
flashed a victory sign to photographers
while Rosberg appeared to frown behind
him. Another team meeting might be
in place before today s race.
Racing conditions were ideal yesterday,
with sunny skies and 25-degrees (77 F)
temperatures, and more good weather
was forecast for today.
Felipe Massa of Williams qualified
fourth, and Kevin Magnussen of
McLaren was fifth.
Home Ferrari favorite Fernando Alonso
was only seventh, defending champion
Sebastian Vettel eighth, and his team-
mate Ricciardo ninth.
Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso posted the
11th-best time but will start 21st due to
a 10-place penalty for a sixth engine
change --- becoming the first driver this
season to be sanctioned by new power
Ferrari s Kimi Raikkonen went out in
Q2 after abandoning a lap due to traffic.
The 2007 F1 champion placed 12th but
will start 11th due to Kvyat s penalty.
Hamilton, Rosberg to duel again
LA CAMPERONA---Ryder Hesjedal of
Canada won a mountainous 14th stage
of the Spanish Vuelta yesterday, while
Alberto Contador held onto the red
leader s jersey for a fourth straight
Hesjedal, a former Giro d Italia win-
ner riding for Garmin Sharp, edged
Oliver Zaugg in the final metres of the
summit ascent to claim the 201-kilo-
metre (125-mile) ride from Santander
to La Camperona featuring two cate-
gory-one climbs. He finished the gru-
eling stage in 5 hours, 18 minutes, 10
seconds. Contador increased his lead
to 42 seconds over nearest rival Ale-
jandro Valverde, who finished 22 sec-
onds behind the five-time grand tour
winner. Chris Froome responded to
attacks by Valverde and Contador to
surge forward over the final kilometer
with only Joaquim Rodriguez able to
keep pace among the rivals. Froome
managed to claw seven seconds away
from Contador and is now third in the
general classification, but the Spanish
leader still commands a gap of 1 minute,
13 seconds over the British rider.
Rodriguez trails Contador by 1:29,
while Colombian Rigoberto Uran fell
from third place to fifth, 2:07 behind.
Hesjedal cops Vuelta's 14th stage
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