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U.S. men’s hoops knocks off Argentina to advance to semifinals

The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — The nail-biters ended for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team.

So did a golden era of international basketball.

Emphatically stopping a stretch of three straight close games, the Americans advanced to the semifinals by sprinting past Manu Ginobili and Argentina, 105-78 on Wednesday night.

In front of a chanting, flag-waving crowd of Argentines who came to throw a raucous farewell party for their Golden Generation, the Americans delivered their most complete performance in Rio.

“What a remarkable run by Argentina and so we knew we had to match that energy tonight. I thought we did,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Turning a slow start into an early ending with a 27-2 run in the first half, the Americans put away one old rival and set up a meeting with another. They will play Spain on Friday in a rematch of the last two gold-medal games.