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LeBron leads U.S. in final tuneup rout of Korea

SEOUL, South Korea -- A 53-point win over South Korea
wrapped up a perfect Asian exhibition tour for a star-studded U.S.
team on its way to the world championships.

LeBron James scored 23 points Tuesday to lead the Americans to a
116-63 win over South Korea in their final tuneup for the world
championships. The U.S. squad went 5-0 in exhibitions leading up to
the worlds, which begin Saturday in Japan.

"We were a little sluggish at first and I was able to pick up
my energy level and the guys followed," James said. "We got
better as the game went on and took care of business."

U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said he was pleased with the progress
the team has made since its first exhibition game against Puerto
Rico on Aug. 3, a game the Americans won 114-69.

"We're proud of our team," said Krzyzewski. "We had two good
games here in Korea and it's exciting the way we've played to get
ready."

In other exhibition games leading up to the world championships,
Vasilis Spanoulis scored 12 points to help Greece defeat Germany
84-47 in the final of the Stankovic Cup in Kunshan, China. Dallas
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki was held to nine points for
Germany.

Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns scored 15 points to lead France
to third place in the Stankovic Cup with an 86-74 victory over
Brazil. Suns teammate Leandro Barbosa scored a game-high 29 points
for Brazil, but the Brazilians lost Cleveland Cavaliers center
Anderson Verejao to a foot injury.

Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets scored the winning basket and
had 21 points to lift China past Australia, 63-61, to capture fifth
place in the tournament. The Milwaukee Bucks' Andrew Bogut had 20
points for Australia.

Dwyane Wade and Elton Brand scored 16 points each against South
Korea, and the United States also got 13 points from Carmelo
Anthony. The Americans took control early, led by James. The
Cleveland Cavaliers star hit a 3-pointer and then gave the United
States a 9-2 lead on a layup. Late in the first period, James'
two-handed dunk made it 13-5.

Wade gave the U.S. a 20-point lead midway through the second
period when he broke through the Korean defense and finished with a
two-handed jam.

"I played
on the Olympic team in 2004 and we didn't have the right mind-set.
This team has the right mind-set to get the job done."
LeBron James

James, who had 19 points in the first half, stole the ball at
center court and went in all alone for a dunk with 3:49 left in the
second period as the U.S. widened its lead to 62-35 at halftime.

After a visit to a U.S. military base Wednesday, the team will
head to Sapporo, Japan, for its opening game of the championships
against Puerto Rico.

In previous tournaments, the United States was criticized for
not playing as a team. James doesn't see that as a problem with
this team.

"I didn't play for the team in 2002," James said. "I played
on the Olympic team in 2004 and we didn't have the right mind-set.
This team has the right mind-set to get the job done."

The U.S. still must cut one of its players before the world
championships. The roster was reduced to 13 when Gilbert Arenas of
the Washington Wizards strained his groin during practice Monday
and was unable to compete for a spot on the 12-player roster.