Australia tops Argentina in Olympic quarters to set up clash with Team USA
SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Australia has two more chances to finally secure its first major men’s international medal.
And a matchup with the U.S. awaits.
Patty Mills scored 18 points, Australia used a 25-0 run in the second half to turn a close game into a runaway, and the Boomers beat Argentina 97-59 on Tuesday night in the fourth and final men’s quarterfinal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Australia gave up 22 points in the first 10 minutes; it allowed 26 points in the next 25 minutes, remaining unbeaten at these Olympics and possibly closing the international career of Argentina’s Luis Scola. The 41-year-old Scola, a five-time Olympian, hasn’t said if he’s going to continue playing for the national team.
He finished with seven points, checking out with 51.4 seconds left and getting a lengthy ovation — even from the Australian players. Scola waved in acknowledgement as blue-and-white spotlights in a nod to Argentina’s colors flashed in the arena, and the ovation continued until he waved again.
Matisse Thybulle and Jock Landale each scored 12 for Australia, which got 11 from Joe Ingles and 12 from Nic Kay. The Boomers — who have never medaled in Olympic or World Cup competition — will play the U.S. in the semifinals on Thursday. Australia beat the Americans in an exhibition last month, but is 0-15 all-time against the U.S. in Olympic or World Cup matchups.
Nicolas Laprovittola scored 16 and Gabriel Deck added 12 for Argentina, which went 1-3 in Tokyo. Argentina was within 54-48 with 2:07 left in the third quarter after a 3-pointer from Nicolas Brussino, legitimately seeming like it had a chance of pulling off the upset.
Not for long. Argentina missed its next 11 shots, and by the time it scored again the deficit had soared to 31 midway through the fourth.
Argentina led by eight early, but the hurrahs ended there. A 19-4 run that covered most of the second quarter put Australia up 37-28. The Boomers wouldn't trail again, and simply ran away in the final 12 minutes.
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