Bryant sinks 19 as U.S. beats Russia in defensive battle

Kobe Byrant scored 11 of his 19 points in the third quarter to lead the U.S. Olympic team to an 89-68 victory over Russia on Sunday.

"They had some gaps there and I just took advantage of them. The ball found me and I was able to make them pay," Bryant said.

Carmelo Anthony added 17 points in what was by far the Americans' most competitive tune-up yet for the Olympics. The defensive tone of the game brought an early entrance by Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince. Prince played little in the first three games, all blowouts in which the U.S. squad averaged 118 points.

Women's basketball: Sylvia Fowles scored eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Americans to an 84-74 victory over Latvia in the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament, a tune-up for the Olympic Games.

Baseball: Brandon Knight struck out 10 and the U.S. Olympic team hit four home runs in a 9-1 exhibition victory over Canada in Durham, N.C. The final game in the series between the two teams is tonight.

Gymnastics: American Chellsie Memmel hurt her right ankle while training on the floor exercise but is expected to take part in Olympic team competition. USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said Memmel's status was being monitored.

Swimming: Five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe is pursuing legal action against a French newspaper and journalist he alleges defamed him in 2007 by publishing claims he used performance-enhancing drugs. Thorpe, who retired in December 2006, was eventually cleared by swimming's governing body.