SAITAMA, Japan -- Caron Butler of Connecticut and Reggie Evans of Iowa scored 17 points each today, leading the unbeaten United States to a 123-87 victory over Japan at the World Basketball Championship for Young Men.
Former Juneau-Douglas High School star Carlos Boozer of Duke had another strong game with 11 rebounds and 16 points as the Americans ran their record to 4-0 in the 12-nation tournament for players under 21.
"We played well offensively," U.S. coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse said. "Japan played well, too, but we just outscored them and were a little too big and strong for them."
Boozer, Butler, Evans and Nick Collison of Kansas combined for 60 points and 39 rebounds as the larger Americans dominated play inside. Boozer scored six of Team USA's first 11 points as the the Americans jumped out to an 11-0 lead.
"Our plan from the beginning was to rebound and get the ball inside where we had an advantage," said Boozer, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound center-power forward. "They're not very physical and not very strong, and we did a good job of getting the ball inside and finishing. They were a fast team, they get up the court real well. They get the ball out quickly and get it up. They have guards that can shoot the ball and handle the ball, so it was a tough game for us big guys, but it was a good challenge for us as well."
The United States scored 11 straight points in the first seven minutes before opening a 67-46 halftime lead at Saitama Super Arena.
Japan (1-3) was led by Fumio Murayama, who made six of nine 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and finished with 20 points.
The United States plays Israel (4-0) on Wednesday, the final day of the preliminary round.
"Our defense will have to pick up and that's what we're most concerned about at this point because we won't get the easy shots as we move on," Boeheim said.
Boozer said there have been some adjustments to the international game.
"How the game is called over here, certain plays go over here that maybe wouldn't go over in the United States," Boozer said when asked if anything surprised him about international play. "I think just the adjustments, adjustments to how the game is played over in Europe and over here. It's been a great experience and it's something I'd like to do again."
In other Group B games, Israel downed Argentina (2-2) 80-63 behind 16 points from Afik Nism.
Croatia picked up its first win in a 137-72 rout over winless South Korea. Srdan Subotic scored 19 points for Croatia.
In Group A, defending champion Australia got 26 points from Bradley Sheridan in a 95-68 victory over previously undefeated Slovenia.
Sergio Vidal led Spain (3-1) to a 75-69 victory over winless Qatar. The Dominican Republic, led by 23 rebounds and 20 points from Yack Martinez, defeated Egypt 107-76. The Dominicans picked up their second win while Egypt dropped to 1-3.
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