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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Dream Team surrender title
The US men's basketball team have been ousted in the Olympic semi-finals by Argentina, beaten 89-81.

The Americans had been gold medallists in every Olympics since 1992 when NBA players started competing in the Games.

Argentina had a 43-38 half-time lead and never surrendered their advantage as the Americans tried desperately to get back into the game.

They now face the Italy, who stunned unbeaten Lithuania 100-91 in Friday's second semi-final.

Argentine guard Manu Ginobili made his San Antonio team-mate Tim Duncan and the rest of the Americans pay for an off shooting night, dropping in 29 points on nine of 13 shooting.

Duncan fouled out with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, ending a quiet night with just 10 points and six rebounds.

"It hurts, but everyone knows we have the youngest team here. We're going to come back - you can count on it
US centre Amare Stoudamire

Stephon Marbury led the USA with 18 points, but the team shot only 27% from the three-point line as it once again struggled to find the mark.

"We fought as hard as we could," US co-captain Allen Iverson said. "We just couldn't get it done."

Argentina will not take the Italians lightly after they saw off three-times bronze medallists Lithuania.

Gianluca Basile led Italy with 31 points, while Giacomo Galanda added 16. Arvydas Macijauskas had 26 for Lithiuania.

The favourites trailed 73-63 when captain Saulius Stombergas sparked a rally, converting a three-point play and following with a three-pointer that closed the gap to 73-72 with 8:15 to play.

Stombergas made the pass that led to two Eurelijus Zukauskas free throws which put Lithuania back on top 74-73, then added another three-pointer to pad the margin to 77-73.

But Italy scored 16 of the next 18 points, with Basile and Galanda sinking three-pointers to hold off Lithuania down the stretch.





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