Sylvia Fowles scored 15 points and Candace Parker added 14 to lead a balanced U.S. offense in the Americans' 109-55 win over Croatia in an exhibition game Saturday.
The contest marked the return of Sue Bird to the team. She left the women's basketball squad Sunday after the death of her stepfather Dennis and missed the team's exhibition wins over Brazil and Britain.
Bird got to Istanbul early Saturday morning, but didn't look jet-lagged at all. She didn't start, but entered the game four minutes in.
Her first play was a nifty no-look pass to Tamika Catchings, but she couldn't convert the shot. Bird then hit a 3-pointer a few minutes later as the U.S. went on a 24-3 run to take a 38-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. She finished with eight points and five assists in 19 minutes.
With the two-time Olympic point guard back, the offense was clicking.
The Americans overwhelmed Croatia, building a 62-23 halftime advantage in which they shot 57 percent from the field. All 12 of ...