Durant leads way with 27 points; Americans get Spain next
POSTED: Aug 18, 2016 12:18 AM ET
RIO DE JANEIRO — The United States Men's National Team advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic basketball tournament with a 105-78 victory over Argentina on Wednesday night.
Things were interesting early on, as 5-11 point guard Facundo Campazzo ran through the U.S. defense and had Argentina up 19-9 with four minutes to go in the first quarter. But the U.S. eventually slowed down the Argentina offense, got 18 first-half points from Kevin Durant, and led by as many as 25 points late in the second quarter.
Durant finished with 27 points (on 9-for-13 shooting), seven rebounds and six assists. Paul George added 17 points and was a big factor defensively off the bench.
It was the final game in Argentina uniforms for Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni, who officially retired from the national team after the game. The pair, along with Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola, were collectively "the Golden Generation." The four were part of a team that beat the U.S. and won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Ginobili checked out with 1:52 remaining in the game to an ovation from the crowd, as well as the U.S. bench.
The U.S. is now 136-5 in Olympic competition and takes a 51-game winning streak in international tournaments into Friday's semifinals, where it will face Spain, which beat France by 25 points earlier on Wednesday. The game will be a rematch of the last two Olympic gold medal games, both won by the U.S.
In Friday's other semifinal, Australia (which beat Lithuania) will face Serbia, which defeated Croatia 86-83.
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