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Olympics 2012, Day 17: U.S. Men's Basketball Advances To Gold Medal Game

Salomon Fuentes |
August 10, 2012 | 5:25 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Courtesy of Dawn Megli-Thuna, Neon Tommy
Courtesy of Dawn Megli-Thuna, Neon Tommy
The U.S. men’s basketball team eased its way past Argentina, 109-83, by way of 18 3-pointers, and will face Spain for the gold medal on Sunday.

The American squad has been the best 3-point shooting team in the Olympics going into the semifinals, and put together another clinic on Friday. Kevin Durant led the way with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant added 18 and 13 points, respectively in the blowout.

Though Argentina managed to keep the game within reach in the first half, the team had no answers for Durant or the long-distance onslaught that began in the second half.

Carmelo Anthony hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers in a 42-second window in the fourth quarter for Team USA to put the game away for good.

Manu Ginobli, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino, who make up the core of the much-lauded but aging golden generation of Argentinian players, each put up double figures in points in what will almost certainly be their last Olympic run.

Elsewhere, Spain overcame a 13-point deficit against Russia to find its way into the gold medal game this Sunday. Pau Gasol led the way for the Spanish side with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but it was Jose Calderon who sparked the rally with 12 of his 14 points coming after the half. Sasha Kaun and Andrei Kirilenko led the way for Russia with 18 and 10 points, respectively.

The gold medal showdown will be a rematch from the 2008 Beijing finals, which saw the U.S. defeat Spain, 118-107.

Bahamas takes gold from U.S. in men's 4x400-meter final

In a tightly-contested relay matchup, Ramon Miller of the Bahamas managed to surpass Angelo Taylor of the U.S. to win the first-ever gold medal for the Caribbean nation and end the U.S.’s reign of seven straight wins in this event.

The U.S. had won every 4x400-meter relay since 1984, but the Americans were unable to beat the upstart Bahamans, who won by .33 seconds. Trinidad and Tobago finished in third at the event. The last time the U.S. failed to win an Olympic 4x400-meter race came in 1972, not including the boycotted 1980 Games.

Oscar Pistorius, a South African double-amputee known by some as "Blade Runner," also competed in the event, but South Africa had fallen well behind before Pistorius received the baton and finished last.

USC at the Olympics

USC athletes have totaled 11 gold, eight silver and four bronze medals at the London Games. If USC were a country, it would rank 10th in overall medal count and sixth in gold medals won.

USC alum Ous Mellouli of Tunisia came away with a gold medal in the marathon 10-kilometer swim on Friday. Mellouli battled through what he described as trouble with his shoulder and elbow to win the event and became the first Olympian to win an indoor and open-water medal in the same Olympics.

Allyson Felix helped the U.S. women's 4x400-meter relay team clinch a gold medal and shatter the world record. In running the second leg of the relay, Felix helped break a 27-year-old record when the team finished with a time of 40.82 seconds, beating the previous record by .55 seconds.

Josh Mance and Bryshon Nellum were part of the USA men’s 4x100-meter relay team that won a silver medal after falling just short to the Bahamas. Nellum was selected to carry the U.S. flag for the 529-member American delegation in the Olympic closing ceremony, which is scheduled for Sunday.

The American men’s water polo team featuring Trojan alum Shea Buckner lost to Spain in a consolation match, 8-6, and will now face Australia in the seventh-place game on Sunday.

James Clark and Joel Dennerley of Australia fell just short against Hungary in their men’s water polo consolation match, 10-9.

Day 17 Medal Results


Men's BMX | Gold: Maris Strombergs (Latvia), Silver: Sam Willoughby (Australia), Bronze: Carlos Oquendo (Colombia)

Women's BMX | Gold: Mariana Pajon (Colombia), Silver: Sarah Walker (New Zealand), Bronze: Laura Smulders (Netherlands)

Field Hockey

Women's Final | Gold: Netherlands, Silver: Argentina, Bronze: Great Britain


Men's 470 | Gold: Malcolm Page & Mathew Belcher (Australia), Silver: Stuart Bithell & Luke Patience (Great Britain), Bronze: Juan De La Fuente & Lucas Calabrese (Argentina)

Women's 470 | Gold: Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (New Zealand), Silver: Saskia Clark & Hannah Mills (Great Britain), Bronze: Lobke Berkhout & Lisa Westerhof (Netherlands)


Men's 10,000 kilometers | Gold: Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia), Silver: Thomas Lurz (Germany), Bronze: Richard Weinberger (Canada)

Synchronized Swimming

Women's Team | Gold: Russia, Silver: China, Bronze: Spain


Women's 67-kilogram (148 lbs) | Gold: Hwang Kyung-Sun (South Korea), Silver: Nur Tatar (Turkey), Bronze: Helena Fromm (Germany) and Paige McPherson (United States)

Men's 80-kilogram (176 lbs) | Gold: Sebastián Crismanich (Argentina), Silver: Nicolás García (Spain), Bronze: Mauro Sarmiento (Italy) and Muhammed Lutalo (Great Britain)

Track and Field

Men's Pole Vault | Gold: Renaud Lavillenie (France), Silver: Björn Otto (Germany), Bronze: Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany)

Women's Hammer Throw | Gold: Tatyana Lysenko (Russia), Silver: Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland), Bronze: Betty Heidler (Germany)

Women's 5,000 meters | Gold: Meseret Defar (Ethiopia), Silver: Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya), Bronze: Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)

Women's 4x100-meter Relay | Gold: United States, Silver: Jamaica, Bronze: Ukraine

Women's 1,500 meters | Gold: Asli Çakir (Turkey), Silver: Gamze Bulut (Turkey), Bronze: Maryam Yusuf Jamal (Bahrain)

Men's 4x400-meter Relay | Gold: Bahamas, Silver: United States, Bronze: Trinidad & Tobago


Men's Freestyle 55-kilogram (121 lbs) | Gold: Dyamal Otarsultanov (Russia), Silver: Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia), Bronze: Shinichi Yumoto (Japan) and Yang Kyong Il (North Korea)

Men's Freestyle 74-kilogram (163 lbs) | Gold: Jordan Burroughs (United States), Silver: Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran), Bronze: Denis Tsargush (Russia) and Soslan Tigiev (Uzbekistan)

London 2012 Overall Medal Count (As of Friday, Aug. 10)

Total: United States (94), China (81), Russia (63)

Gold: United States (41), China (37), Great Britain (25)

Silver: United States (26), China (25), Russia (21)

Bronze: United States (27), Russia (27), China (19)


Read more of Neon Tommy's 2012 Olympic coverage here.

Reach Writer Salomon here; follow him on Twitter here.



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