The United States basketball team warmed up for their Olympic title
defence by winning hearts and minds, as well as a warm-up game against
the Great Britain team, at Manchester's MEN Arena on Thursday.
The US ran out comfortable 118-78 victors against the Olympic hosts, 10
days short of their opening pool game in the tournament against France.
But they also proved extremely popular victors among a sell-out 17 000
crowd in Manchester, the local fans cheering more loudly for the
visitors, in particular the LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, than home
players such as the Chicago Bulls All Star forward Luol Deng and
emerging big man Joel Freeland.
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