LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Kevin Durant #5 of United States reacts after a play against Argentina during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Team USA Closes Group Play Strong Against Argentina

After leading Argentina by just a single point at halftime, Team USA pulled away late -- thanks in part to Kevin Durant's hot hand.

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12 Total Updates since August 6, 2012
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Olympic Basketball: Men's Knockout Bracket And Schedule Set, Team USA To Face Australia

The preliminary round of the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament is now complete, and thus, the single-elimination medal round can begin. The quarterfinals were essentially set prior to Team USA's blowout win over Argentina on Monday, and now, they are official. With their victory, Team USA will square off against Australia, the fourth-place team from Group B, at 5:15 EST on Wednesday.

Here is the complete schedule for the quarterfinals, all of which will be played on Wednedsay.

Russia (4-1 in Group B) vs. Lithuania (2-3 in Group A): Russia's magic in last-second finishes ran out on Monday against Australia, but coach David Blatt will take that rather than in the medal round. Lithuania, meanwhile, was very impressive against Team USA, but pretty erratic otherwise. They're always a threat, though, and Russia, while impressive, has played a lot of close games. 9 a.m. EST.

France (4-1 in Group A) vs. Spain (3-2 in Group B): After losing to Team USA in their opener, France looked generally impressive in winning their last four games. Games against Tunisia and Nigeria were a bit too close for comfort, but Tony Parker and company are a formidable threat. Spain's pedigree is obvious, and they have as good a chance as anyone to make the Gold Medal game. However, they need both Juan Carlos Navarro and Marc Gasol to fight off nagging injuries. 11:15 a.m. EST.

Brazil (4-1 in Group B) vs. Argentina (3-2 in Group A): Brazil defeated Spain on Monday to clinch this spot ... and may have made their lives more difficult in the process. Not only does a semifinal matchup with Team USA loom, but so does a difficult quarterfinal against an experienced Argentina squad. Argentina showed their age at times in losses to France and Team USA, but led by Manu Ginobili, they're the kind of team you never want to count out in this kind of tournament. 3 p.m. EST.

Team USA (5-0 in Group A) vs. Australia (3-2 in Group B): Save for their game against Lithuania and their first half against Argentina, Team USA has been dominant thus far. However, Australia, led by point guard Patty Mills, has also been impressive, finishing off a 3-2 record in a strong Group B after Mills' thrilling buzzer beater against Russia on Monday. 5:15 p.m. EST.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic basketball, follow the 2012 Olympic basketball section.


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Team USA Vs. Argentina, Olympics 2012: U.S. Dominates 2nd Half, Wins 126-97

Thanks in large part to a dominating third quarter, the United States' men's basketball team pulled away from Argentina, winning 126-97.

Team USA took a slim 60-59 lead into halftime but outscored Argentina 42-17 in the third quarter to blow the game open. The second half surge was led by LeBron James and Kevin Durant. James scored the United States' first seven points in the third quarter. He finished the game with 18 points and five assists.

Durant then caught fire from 3-point range, helping the United States crush Argentina's upset bid. Durant made 5-of-6 3-pointers in the quarter. He finished the game as the United States' leading scorer with 28 points, including 17 in the third quarter.

With the win, the United States finished a perfect 5-0 in the preliminary round, winning Group B. They will face Australia in the quarterfinal round.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub. For more on Olympic basketball, follow the 2012 Olympic basketball section.

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Team USA Vs. Argentina: Carmelo Anthony Hit Below The Belt At End Of Third Quarter

What was previously a ho-hum game between Team USA and Argentina in the final game of group play in the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament suddenly took on a different tone near the end of the third quarter. As Carmelo Anthony took a three-point shot, point guard Facundo Campazzao, starting for the injured Pablo Prigioni, appeared to hit Anthony deliberately in the groin.

Here's a GIF of the play.

Melo_medium

This enraged several Team USA players, as well as coach Mike Krzyzewski. The players and coach were jawing at several Argentina players as the third quarter ended, and they remained angry in the fourth quarter. It's always difficult to truly measure intent, but it certainly looks like Campazzao meant to hit Anthony there.

In any event, Team USA's anger was let out in one jaw-dropping slam dunk by Russell Westbrook. Here that is.

Westdunk6_medium

There remains a decent chance that these two teams see each other again in this tournament. If Team USA tops Australia as expected and Argentina defeats Brazil in the quarterfinals, the two teams will face each other again with a spot in the Gold Medal game on the line.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub. For more on Olympic basketball, follow the 2012 Olympic basketball section.

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Will Brazil And Spain Tank To Avoid Team USA?

Brazil vs. Spain could become basketball's version of the badminton scandal.

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Olympic Basketball: Team USA Needs Win To Clinch No. 1 Seed

The top three seeds in Group A of the Olympic men's basketball tournament remain in the air. Team USA is in the pole position for the No. 1 spot and a quarterfinal match against Australia on Wednesday. But to guarantee that seed, the United States needs to beat Argentina in the final game of group play on Monday.

France, which plays Nigeria in its final group game, has locked up a bid to the knockouts, but could enter as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. It would prefer the No. 2 seed, because that would estrange the team from Team USA in the elimination bracket. To win No. 2, France needs a win over Nigeria and a Team USA win over Argentina.

Alternately, France could get the spot with a win and an 49-point win by Argentina over Team USA. We would not recommend holding your breath for that result.

To claim No. 1, Argentina either needs a France loss or needs to beat Team USA by at least 17. Again, we do not encourage you to hold your breath.

The intrigue continues in Group B, where Brazil and Spain each have incentive to lose their finale, as doing so will estrange them from Team USA in the knockout bracket.

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