In the second meeting in less than a week, Team USA manhandled Argentina 109-83 to advance to the gold medal game of the London Olympics. In the final, Team USA will take on Spain, who defeated Russia 67-59.
Against the Argentines, it was more of the same for Team USA. The game stayed close through much of the first half, but the Americans shifted into blowout mode in the third quarter, putting the contest out of reach with a flurry of forced turnovers, dunks and three-pointers. Kevin Durant and Lebron James led the way once again, with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Durant hit five three-pointers while James was his typically efficient self, needing only 12 shots to amass his 18 points.
Team USA made 18-of-42 three-point attempts in total and shot 53 percent from the field overall.
In what’s become something of a tired refrain, Team USA simply had more athleticism, speed and shooting than their opopnents. Argentina, like many teams have so far in the Olympics, kept the score respectable for a half. As usual, though, Team USA just overpowered their competition in the third and fourth quarters.
Spain, the team most feel is the world’s second best, is next on the menu for Team USA. On Sunday, the two squads will meet in a rematch of the gold medal game they played in Beijing in 2008.
Team USA hasn’t put together a fully dominant game against a legitimate opponent yet (sorry, Nigeria). Instead, they’ve relied on coasting for most of the game and turning on the afterburners when they’re done toying with the opposition. Against Spain, Team USA has every motivation to finally let it all hang out for 40 minutes—and they might do just that.
But realistically, even if Team USA gives another half-good performance against Spain, it’ll still probably be enough to take home the gold medal. The Americans are simply too deep and too talented to let Spain steal this one.
Prediction for the gold medal game: Team USA blows out Spain 128-89.