Team USA's Lavine not on flight to Tokyo

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American guard Zach LaVine has entered health and safety protocols and did not fly to Tokyo on Monday along with the three-times defending men's Olympic basketball champions.

USA Basketball said in a statement the decision to leave for Japan without the 26-year-old LaVine was made "out of an abundance of caution" and that they hope he will be able to join the team later this week.

LaVine had a strong pre-Games camp and in four exhibition games he was third on the team for scoring, averaging 10.3 points per game.

The US team will open preliminary round play on July 25 against France.

Team USA have already lost guard Bradley Beal, who was forced to go into health and safety protocols last week and forward Kevin Love, who withdrew as he is still returning to full form from a right calf injury.

American forward Jerami Grant had entered health and safety protocols last Thursday but was cleared to travel with the team, one of eight players of the 12-member squad.

The US are waiting on Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker to finish the NBA Finals before they link up with their national teammates.

Since NBA players began representing the US in 1992, they have captured six gold medals and one bronze medal.

They are riding a 25-game Olympic winning streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 2004 Athens Games.

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