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Olympic Men's Basketball: U.S. Spain, Argentina, Russia into semis

08-09-2012 10:07 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States maintained its perfect record at the London Olympic Games men's basketball by trouncing Australia 119-86 in the quarterfinals here on Wednesday.

The Olympic and world champions now keep a streak of 15 consecutive Olympic wins, dating back to the bronze medal game at the Athens Games.

Despite of some periods of pressure in previous games against Argentina and Lithuania, the U.S. met little resistance from Australia as it established a 56-42 lead before the break.

Though the Australians cut the deficit to three points at the beginning of third quarter, Kobe Bryant hit two three-pointers in a row to widen the margin and never looked back.

Kobe shot 6-out-of-10 on three-pointers and grabbed a team-high 20 points. Lebron James added 11 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the U.S., which will meet Argentina in Friday's semifinals.

The 2004 Olympic champions and 2008 bronze medalists Argentina defeated Brazil 82-77. Argentine's Luis Scola scored 17 points while fellow NBA players Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino each added 16 in the triumph.

Ginobili was satisfied with Argentina's performance, saying,"for a team with an average age of 32 years it's very valuable to make it to the Olympic semifinals" .

Talking about the coming encounter against the U.S., the 35-year-old from San Antonio Spurs said, "Please ask me again in 24 hours because I just want to enjoy this moment before I think about the U.S.."

The 2008 silver medalists Spain used a late 12-2 run to surpass France 66-59. Marc Gasol scored 14 points, brother Pau added a double figure of ten points and 11 rebounds for Spain.

Pau Gasol from NBA Los Angeles Lakers said,"This is still not our best level, we have room for improvement."

Spain will face Russia in the semifinals after Russia beat Lithuania 83-74 in the quarterfinals.

In the game against Russia, Lithuania, which only lost to the U.S. team by five points in the preliminary stage, fought back in the final period and cut the deficit margin from 14 points to four points after the third quarter.

A three-pointer by Rimantas Kaukenas made it a one-point game at 54-53 before the Russians recovered with centre Timofey Mozgov and veteran Kirilenko leading the way and claimed its first trip to the last four since the Barcelona Games in 1992.

"They (Lithuania) took our energy completely. It was a hard game and we won it by defence. We are going to take a rest and we are going to be ready for the semifinals," said Kirilenko, who scored a team-high 19 points.

 

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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