United States of America men's basketball vs Argentina in Rio Olympics

Reuters

They're set to face Spain on Friday while Australia takes on Serbia in the other semifinal.

Almost written off after two losses to open the Rio Games, Spain is back in the men's basketball semifinals for the third straight time after a 92-67 rout of Parker and France.

And while the U.S.is still the favorite to win gold, the Americans have been vulnerable in close victories against Australia, Serbia and France in Rio.

The US's NBA stars will face Argentina's ageing but still scrappy "golden generation" in a compelling grudge match in the Rio Games basketball knockout phase.

Mantas Kalnietis scored 12 for Lithuania, which beat Brazil and Argentina earlier in the tournament before losing to Spain by 50 and dropping its final three games.

Over the first six games of the tournament, the USA has given many of its critics reason to doubt due to its nearly habitual poor starts in Brazil, poor long-range shooting, and lack of chemistry. When the starters did return, the defense lacked and ball movement disappeared, but Kyrie Irving's play minimized the damage as did growing fatigue for Argentina. I learned a lot. "We got all the talent in the world". But in the end we won. "We were never satisfied".

The U.S. men's basketball teams waves to the fans after the game against Argentina during the men's basketball quarterfinals in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 17. I love this atmosphere, which is very different than the National Basketball Association.

"Obviously, everybody wants us to win by a lot of points, but it's not how it's going to go this time", Kevin Durant said last week, according to USA Today Sports.

Tony Parker, who is 34, played his last game with France on Wednesday, scoring 14 points. If Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony lead the way on offense and the second unit comes in with energy on defense, the USA could take control of the game and create separation.

"That's another tough team". Spain cut a 10-point second-quarter deficit to six before halftime. "But then ultimately we just got stops and executed our offense".

Much of the preparation will be on Krzyzewski and his staff, and the Duke coach did alter his starting lineup against Argentina.

Center DeAndre Jordan almost tore down the backboard, sending down this lob with two hands. However, the Americans quickly turned the tables on Argentina thanks to a red-hot Kevin Durant, dominant Cousins and stifling defense from guys like Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. The Spaniards are playing in Rio without two of their best players in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.

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