'Dream team' beaten by Puerto Rico
ATHENS, Greece -- The USA basketball 'dream team' was humiliated 92-73 by the minnows of Puerto Rico on Sunday in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.
The stunning defeat in the Olympic opener ended an unbeaten run of 24 matches since NBA professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.
The U.S. team contained superstars Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and LeBron James, but had no answer to inspired opponents.
The U.S. had been unimpressive in build-up, but had beaten Puerto Rico 96-71 in a warm up game in Florida just two weeks ago.
The United States never led after early in the first quarter.
They were down by 22 points at half-time and by 17 points after three quarters. Utah Jazz guard Carlos Arroyo led Puerto Rico with 24 points. Duncan had 15 for the Americans.
Puerto Rico had never beaten the United States in Olympic play, losing all five of their previous matches by comfortable margins.
Although the loss was a massive blow to the Americans' confidence, it did little to hurt their gold medal chances. They need only to finish in the top four of their six-team group to reach the quarterfinals.
Still, the defeat will go a long way toward giving the competition the bold idea that it's someone else's turn to move to the top of a sport that's been dominated by one country for nearly three-quarters of a century.
As Arroyo left the court with just over a minute left, he defiantly pulled at the words "Puerto Rico" on his jersey.