AP NEWS
Related topics

Dream Team 128, Greece 62

July 14, 1996 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Greece may be the cradle of the Olympics. The Dream Team showed the Greek national team on Sunday that there’s no doubt about the United States being the cradle of basketball.

Sparked by hometown favorite Reggie Miller, the U.S. Olympic squad jumped to a 20-3 lead in the game’s opening four minutes and closed its five-game exhibition schedule with a 128-62 triumph.

It was the most one-sided decision by Dream Team III, which now heads to Disney World for the final phase of its pre-0lympic preparations. The U.S team of NBA all-stars opens its Olympic schedule against Argentina on Saturday heavily-favored to claim the gold medal in Atlanta.

Miller, whose possible defection from the Indiana Pacers as an unrestricted free agent has been the subject of much speculation in the city where he’s played his entire nine-year career, scored the game’s first basket on a fast break layup and had seven of his team’s first nine points.

He had 13 points in 11 minutes during the first half and his 21 points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer, was the most by any member of the team in the exhibition series.

The Greeks, who were 6-3 in previous exhibition games, never drew closer than 11 points after the USA’s early spurt.

Helped by nine first-half steals, including three by Miller, the Dream Team led 74-34 at halftime, shooting 62 percent (26-of-42). Greece shot 34.5 (10-of-29) in the opening half and was outrebounded 28-15.

The Dream Team had six players finish in double figures. Karl Malone had 19, followed by Grant Hill with 15.

Fragiskos Alvertis came off the bench to lead Greece with 14 points. Theofanis Christodoulou was the only other player in double figures for Greece,, which opens its Olympic schedule against Yugoslavia on Saturday with 11 points.

The Dream Team outscored its five exhibition opponents 570-355 and its only-close game was its opener against a USA Select team of college stars, which led by 17 at halftime before losing 96-90.

Miller was the leading scorer in the five games with 71 points, followed by Mitch Richmond and Malone with 62.