The U.S. Men’s basketball team finally snapped out of its funk and dominated Argentina in the quarterfinals of the Olympics basketball tournament. The Americans defeated Argentina 105-78 on Wednesday night, after defeating their past two opponents by a combined score of six.
With the win, the U.S. advances to the semifinals, where they will play Pau Gasol and Spain for a chance to compete for the Gold medal on Friday Against Argentina, the United States started off slowly again, but turned thing around in the second quarter with their defensive intensity. Kevin Durant, who had been quiet the past couple of games, came alive and dropped 27 points for the Americans.
U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to go with a defensive minded lineup, giving Paul George more minutes, which paid off for the Americans, who controlled the game after going on a run in the second quarter.
After the game, Argentine great Manu Ginobili, and Louis Scola announced their retirement from international play. Their retirement comes 12 years after they pair helped Argentina win its first Olympic Gold medal in basketball.
“We had a chance to grow up together and do some good things, win some games together. It was fun. It’s a lot of years.” said Luis Scola, who plans to keep playing in the NBA. “We formed part of something unique we did for our country and it’s going to be there. Sometimes we’re not going to win, like today. Sometimes we won, but we fought together for many years.”
Ginobili, who scored 14 points in the game, teared up after receiving a standing applause from the fans and warm wishes from his opponents.
“They congratulated me and I’m very proud of their words,” Ginobili said. “They were very kind, very respectful and when legends of the game showed their respect, it has an extra value.”
The U.S. and Spain are two countries that are very familiar with themselves, after playing each other in the finals of the last two Olympics. Even without Marc Gasol, Spain is still a dangerous and talented team capable of handing the Americans their first loss in the Olympics since 2004.
Pau Gasol will create some matchup problems for the Americans because of his versatility of his offensive game. However, Sergio Scariolo, Spain’s head coach, said Gasol could miss the game because of a calf injury.
“He is not well, I cannot say for sure that he is going to play,” Scariolo said. “We continue with his treatments and the truth is that we needed him right now. We hope his condition to evolve well and at least be ready to help as much as he can his teammates in the game. I cannot say anything more right now.”
If Gasol cannot play, the Americans will have a big advantage in the middle, which could lead to the game being another blowout.
USA vs Spain Betting Lines
The Americans looked like they were back on track against Argentina, if Gasol doesn’t play on Friday, expect a blowout. Even if he does, his presence won’t be enough to prevent the U.S. from winning the game.
Play: Team USA -13.5 @ Bovada.lv