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LeBron James of the United States celebrates with teammates after winning a men's basketball preliminary round matchup with Tunisia on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Tuesday.
LeBron James and the U.S. Olympic basketball team blew out Tunisia 110-63 Tuesday, claiming their second easy win in two games at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
While the final result wasn't even close, Team USA only pulled away after coach Mike Krzyzewski started his reserves to open the second half after a lackluster first 20 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala opened the third quarter with a 21-3 run, turning a surprisingly close 13-point lead into a 67-36 bulge before any of the more celebrated starters finally got to play in the second half.
"That was a great lift, man. That's the best thing about this team, there's no drop off," said Kevin Durant. "We've got All-Stars off the bench. Those guys did great job for us."
The victory followed the team's 98-71 trouncing of France in its Olympic opener.
Heat superstar James scored just five points in 18 minutes as he and Kobe Bryant took a seat, and the second unit took control. He scored nine points with eight assists and one jaw-dropping alley-oop dunk against France.
Tunisia lost its first game on Sunday to Nigeria 60-56. After easily handling France, a team with six NBA players on its roster, James said Team USA would not be taking Tunisia lightly, even if it does not have a single NBAer on the team.
"We need to get better," LeBron James said Monday. "We know we don't have time to waste an opportunity to get better ... We're not going to let our guard down no matter who we're playing against."
They were better Tuesday – even if they found themselves in a five-point game late in the first 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.
On Sunday, James said Team USA has "room for improvement," citing the team's 14 turnovers and 26 personal fouls. USA's foul trouble helped give France stay in the game early, as USA led by just one point after the first quarter.
For that reason, France's Nicolas Batum said a number of teams in the Olympics could beat the Americans, so long as they "play a 40-minute game."
As he often does with the Miami Heat, James has used his ability to attract double-teams to facilitate open shots for his teammates. In the France game, he logged more assists (8) than shot attempts (6). His ability to create open looks makes him such a critical weapon for Team USA, but if his teammates fail to knock down those open jumpers, James' contributions go for naught.
"It took us a little while to find the rhythm with that rim," James said of the France game. Team USA shot 32 percent from three-point range, and just 43 percent overall.
"The depth perception is a little different," he explained of the courts in international play as compared to NBA arenas. "It's not much of a problem for me because I'm not a jump shooter, but some of our other shooters had a problem."
James and teammate Carmelo Anthony join Hall of Famer David Robinson as the only American basketball players to compete in three Olympics. They won a bronze medal as rookies in 2004 while spending most of their time on the bench, and won gold in 2008 as part of the "Redeem Team."
"Even right now, in London, that gold medal in '08 was sweet, but this one would be even better," James said last week.
The U.S. plays Nigeria on Thursday.