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Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles pace U.S. women in comeback after slow start

Team USA's Diana Taurasi, center, makes a blind

Team USA's Diana Taurasi, center, makes a blind pass against the Czech Republic during a women's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Aug. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

LONDON -- Rested and refreshed, the U.S. women continue to dominate the Olympic basketball tournament.

Diana Taurasi scored 18 points and Tina Charles had a double-double to lead the Americans to an 88-61 win over the Czech Republic on Friday.

The Americans (4-0) have won 37 straight games in the Olympics, including four straight gold medals. Team USA started slow but looked fresh after its first day off since getting together July 14 to start training.

The Czechs scored the first 10 points of the game in just two minutes. It was the Americans' biggest deficit in the Olympics since they trailed the Czechs 13-2 in the opener of the 2008 Beijing Games. They went on to win that game by 40 points.

"We had a little bit of a tough time getting shots to go in and the Czech Republic team did a great job of hitting their threes," U.S. forward Maya Moore said of the Americans' slow start. "We just try to stay aggressive. It's about when the other team hits you, you've got to get back up and figure out a way to overcome it. And that's what we did."

The Czechs hit six of their first 10 three-point attempts and led 26-24 after the first quarter. They didn't hit another three-pointer the rest of the game, missing their final 11 attempts.

While the Czechs went cold, the Americans heated up behind Charles, who had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Tamika Catchings (10 points).

Trailing 30-26, the Americans scored 22 of the next 28 points to go up 48-36 with 2:18 left in the half. Catchings and Charles each had six points during the burst.

New York Sports