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Basketball: Durant leads fired-up US over Argentina

August 07, 2012 11:52 IST

The US men's basketball team pulled away in the second half of a bad-tempered game against Argentina and claimed a 126-97 victory on Monday to claim a top seeding in the Olympic tournament's quarter-finals.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

Players were knocked down on both sides and had to be separated from each other at the end of the first half in an ultra-physical game that seemed to awaken the sleeping giant US team that squeaked by Lithuania in their previous game.

Kevin Durant (centre) of the US dunks against Argentina during their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena on MondayThe Americans completed a 5-0 run through the preliminary phase of the tournament and will face Australia (3-2) in Wednesday's quarter-finals.

Argentina could have leapfrogged the US team into first place in Group A with a win, but after going into intermission trailing just 60-59, they were buried under a flurry of three-pointers from Kevin Durant and the rout was on.

The US team surged to a 105-77 lead going into the fourth quarter and after Russell Westbrook was given a technical foul for taunting after slamming through a basket, the game continued on to a peaceful finish.

Durant led the Americans with 28 points, hitting 8-of-10 from three-point range, and LeBron James added 18.

Manu Ginobili scored 16 points as Argentina's high scorer.

Argentina slipped to third seed in Group A and will play Brazil (4-1) in the quarters.

Group B top seed Russia (4-1) will play Lithuania (2-3), while France (4-1) meets Spain (3-2).

Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

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