Americans capture bronze medal at world championships
Saitama, Japan (Sports Network) – The United States ended the world
championships on a positive note, falling short in its goal of the gold but
claiming the bronze medal with a convincing 96-81 victory over Argentina on
Dwyane Wade poured in 18 of his 32 points during the fourth quarter, when the
United States pulled away despite poor foul shooting for the second straight
game. The Americans made only 15-of-30 from the charity stripe on Saturday
after making just 20-of-34 from the foul line in a loss to Greece.
LeBron James put together an all-around game with 22 points, nine rebounds and
seven assists. Elton Brand had 11 points and Carmelo Anthony donated 15 points
in the victory, as the United States claimed revenge on Argentina, the country
responsible for ousting the Americans in the Olympic semifinals two years ago.
A repeat of that 2004 battle didn’t happen Saturday, as Argentina was plagued
by foul trouble. Team leaders Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto and Luis Scola
spent significant time on the bench in the second half, with the Americans
slowly increasing a 50-49 halftime edge.
Scola had 19 points to lead Argentina while Andres Nocioni tallied 18 points.
Carlos Delfino contributed 13 points and Ginobili netted 10 in the loss.
Ginobili didn’t notch a field goal until midway through the fourth quarter
when the game was out of reach.
Argentina led 27-21 after one quarter, but the United States built a 50-49
lead at the half and had a 69-62 lead heading into the fourth period. Ginobili
sat on the bench for the entire third quarter.
Then it was time for Wade to take over.
The Miami Heat star scored 14 of the team’s 16 points during one stretch, with
back-to-back three-pointers opening a 91-75 edge with just under three minutes
Greece and Spain will square off for the gold medal on Sunday. In a major blow
for Spain, star forward Pau Gasol will miss the contest with a foot injury.