U.S. women rout Brazil as Sue Bird leaves team after stepfather's death | Olympic basketball
Lindsay Whalen showed that the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team has depth at point guard. Whalen scored 21 points to lead the Americans...
WASHINGTON — Lindsay Whalen showed that the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team has depth at point guard.
Whalen scored 21 points to lead the Americans to a 99-67 rout of Brazil on Monday night in an exhibition game. She started in place of the Storm's Sue Bird, who left the team Sunday after the death of her stepfather Dennis Burden.
"I wanted to come out and make sure we got some good looks, move the ball, be aggressive when the time presents itself," Whalen said. "I think it was a good start for us."
Bird practiced with the team this weekend and when she plans to rejoin the Olympic squad is unclear.
"I said take whatever amount of time you need, come back when you need to come back," U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. "She may or not play in the game in Manchester. She might meet us there or meet us in Istanbul, we'll know (Tuesday)."
Bird was the starting point guard on the 2008 team and also played on the 2004 team.
"It just goes to show we have really good depth," Tamika Catchings said of Whalen's play. "Lindsay did a really good job."
Diana Taurasi scored 16 points for the U.S. in her first action since missing the last month of the WNBA season while recovering from a variety of injuries.
James leads U.S. men past Brazil
WASHINGTON — LeBron James scored 30 points and the U.S. men rallied from an early 10-point deficit to beat Brazil 80-69 in an exhibition.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden watched the Americans get off to a dismal start before holding Brazil to two baskets in the second quarter.
James helped the U.S. pull away in the final four minutes after they led by only seven, getting his final point on a free throw with 31 seconds left as Obama departed.
Kevin Durant had 11 for the Americans, who will leave Tuesday for Europe to complete their Olympic preparations.
They face Britain on Thursday before traveling to Barcelona to play Argentina and Spain.