U.S. Beats Australia, Faces Argentina in Men’s Basketball Semis

The U.S. beat Australia 119-86 to set up a semifinal meeting tomorrow with 2004 Olympic men’s basketball champion Argentina.

LeBron James had a triple-double -- 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists -- and Kobe Bryant led the U.S. with 20 points against Australia last night in London. Deron Williams contributed 18 points and Carmelo Anthony added 17.

“We knew that we were going to play a very athletic, quick, well-coached team in Australia,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters.

The U.S., which has won 13 gold medals in the 16 Olympic tournaments it has entered, last lost at the games in the 2004 semifinals, when Argentina beat it 89-81 before claiming gold.

The defending champion has won all six of its games at the 2012 Olympics, including a 126-97 victory against Argentina in the group phase of the competition.

Argentina (4-2) defeated Brazil 82-77 last night. Luis Scola of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets led Argentina with 17 points, while Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Carlos Delfino of the Milwaukee Bucks scored 16 points apiece.

“We’ve had two tough games with them and we expect another tough game,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re better together than they are individually and individually you have two of the greatest international players of all time.”

Tomorrow’s other semifinal will be between Russia (5-1), which beat Lithuania 83-74, and Spain (4-2), which overcame France 66-59.

The final is scheduled for Aug. 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren at the London Olympic Park Basketball Arena at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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