TOKYO — Diana Taurasi returned from a hip injury and the U.S. women’s basketball team opened its Olympic run with an 81-72 win over Nigeria on Tuesday.

Five-time Olympian Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury scored 10 points, all in the first half, as the U.S. overcame a 20-17 deficit after the first quarter to lead 44-32 at halftime at Saitama Super Arena. 

The Americans bumped their lead to 70-50 after three quarters before being outscored 22-11 in the fourth to narrow the final margin.

The U.S. increased its Olympic winning streak to 50 games and is seeking a seventh consecutive gold medal. 

Mercury center Brittney Griner had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) as did A’ja Wilson (19/13). Breanna Stewart fell one point shy of a double-double (9/11).

Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith scored one point off the bench. 

Former Arizona State guard Promise Amukamara had 10 points for Nigeria.

The U.S. next will play Japan on Saturday. The Japanese won 74-70 over France on Tuesday. 

More: Diana Taurasi: Soccer’s loss became historic gain for basketball

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Reach the reporter at [email protected]public.com or 602-444-8053. Follow him on Twitter @jeffmetcalfe.

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