LAS VEGAS - The Americans made Athens look like ancient history.
Three years after its stunning loss in the Olympics, the United States smothered Puerto Rico in a 117-78 victory Tuesday night in the FIBA Americas tournament.
"I don't hold grudges, but I still keep that game in the back of my mind every time we play them," Carmelo Anthony said. "Even last year when we played them we really wanted to get after them, and tonight we wanted to get after them, also."
LeBron James scored 21 points and Anthony added 17 for the Americans, who clinched a spot in Saturday's semifinals - where a win would earn them a berth in the Beijing Olympics.
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Michael Redd had 15 points and Kobe Bryant 14. He also set up James for a pair of powerful dunks, thrusting his arms in the air like a quarterback who had just thrown a touchdown pass after both.
Puerto Rico had handed the United States a 92-73 loss, its worst ever, in the 2004 games. Current U.S. stars Anthony, James and Amare Stoudemire were all in Greece and watched Carlos Arroyo and the rest of the Puerto Ricans torch the Americans for 56 percent shooting.
n COUCH ACCUSED OF DOPING: Former No. 1 NFL draft pick Tim Couch had doping regimens that called for anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, according to documents obtained by Yahoo.com.
Couch, cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this month, told Yahoo.com he used HGH for about a week, under a doctor's care, in hopes it would help him recover from shoulder surgery. He denied using steroids or any other banned drugs and said he had never seen the documents.
Yahoo.com reported Tuesday it had obtained documents from an anonymous source with Couch's name printed across the top that called for extensive use of drugs banned by the league. The Web site identified the source as a former associate of Brian Yusem, a nutritionist in Boca Raton, Fla., who Yahoo.com said has worked with Couch since January 2006.
n BRIGGS SAYS HE PANICKED AFTER CRASH: Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said he panicked after crashing his new Lamborghini along a highway early Monday morning and initially reported his car stolen after abandoning the mangled vehicle.
Speaking to reporters after practice on Tuesday, Briggs said he called a tow truck after leaving the scene and then reported his 2007 Murcielago was stolen.
n SIMON TO RESUME CAREER with titans: Defensive tackle Corey Simon agreed to terms Tuesday with the Tennessee Titans and will try to resume his career after not playing in 2006.
Simon, who took a physical with the Titans a week ago, was expected to be at practice later Tuesday.
Neither team officials nor Simon's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, immediately returned telephone messages from The Associated Press. But coach Jeff Fisher said Monday the decision to join the team was in Simon's hands.
The Associated Press
n BRADY'S BABY'S INITIALS SPELL - JET: New England quarterback Tom Brady's newborn son has the initials JET.
Actress Bridget Moynahan announced Tuesday the name of their son - John Edward Thomas Moynahan - saying Brady arrived in Los Angeles in time for the child's birth last week.
"Bridget is very thankful for a happy baby, excited about being a mother, and very pleased that the father, Tom Brady, was able to be there for the birth," publicist Gary Mantoosh told The Associated Press.
Moynahan and Brady split up late last year after a three-year relationship. Brady has been dating supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
Brady, 30, has led the Patriots to three NFL titles and is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. New England opens its regular season against the rival New York Jets on Sept. 9.
Mantoosh didn't give any other details, including the size of the baby or whether Thomas was in honor of his father.
"Both mother and baby are at home, happy and healthy," he said.
Brady flew to California for the birth and returned to his team a few days later for a preseason game.
Moynahan, 36, is a former model who has starred in films and television shows.
n BEASLEY BOOED BUT NOT ABUSED: U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley was booed but not racially abused by Red Star fans as Glasgow Rangers advanced to the group stage of the European Champions League with a scoreless tie Tuesday night.
Beasley, who is black, entered in the 80th minute of the third-round qualifier, played before a crowd of about 50,000. He claimed that he had been racially insulted by Red Star fans when he played in Belgrade with PSV Eindhoven two years ago.
On Aug. 7, he scored his first goal for Rangers and was taunted by racist fans during a 1-0 victory over FK Zeta in Montenegro.
"It's something that shouldn't be in football," Beasley said last week. "You can boo and whistle, but racist chants are disgusting. Hopefully we can do something to get that out of football."
Rangers advanced 1-0 in the home-and-home, total-goals series.