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Nick Friedell

U.S.A.-Argentina: The recap

Fourth-Place Medal

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Carmelo Anthony finished with 21 points as the U.S. basketball team defeated Argentina 101-81. The Americans played their basketball of the tournament during the first quarter of the game, and pulled away towards the end of the game despite several runs by the Argentinians. As I mentioned at halftime, the U.S. had to start attacking the rim more, and they did, giving Dwight Howard the ball early in the second half. Howard and Chris Bosh both played well combining for 21 points and 19 boards in the paint.

You've got to give the Argentinians a lot of credit for their performance. The team played most of the game without its star, Manu Ginobili, who left in the first quarter because of a foot injury. Luis Scola did his best to bring Argentina back by scoring a game-high 28 points.

Coach K and his team now have one more step to take in their climb back to the top of the basketball world. They'll face Spain, who defeated Lithuania 91-86 in an earlier semifinal game. The Americans should have no problem beating the Spaniards, considering they have already defeated them once in this tournament ... by 37 points.

If the Argentina game showed us anything though, it's that the American team can get very complacent when they feel like there is no competition. With a gold medal on the line on Sunday, I don't think the U.S. will let that happen. In order to be sure, Kobe Bryant and company must keep their energy level up throughout the game.

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