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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | MEN'S BASKETBALL

Argentina Slows Down Lithuania

July 23, 1996|Times Wire Services

Juan Espil scored 25 points, including four free throws in the final 12 seconds, leading Argentina to a 65-61 victory over Lithuania.

Argentina (1-1), using the same slowdown strategy it did Saturday night in keeping up with the Dream Team for a half before losing, led, 48-39, with 11:31 to play. It seemed to be in good shape despite losing starting power forward Marcelo Nicola to a knee injury with four minutes left in the first half.

Lithuania (1-1), coming off a dramatic double-overtime victory over Croatia in its opener, went on a 14-0 run with center Arvydas Sabonis of the Portland Trail Blazers scoring 10 points.

Argentina took the lead for good at 58-57 on a free throw by Espil with 1:07 to play. Espil added a layup between missed three-point shots by Rimas Kurtinaitis.

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Sasa Obradovic led five double figure scorers with 18 points as Yugoslavia (2-0) coasted to a 91-68 victory over Australia (1-1). Predrag Danilovic, who plays for the Miami Heat, had 16 points and six assists for Yugoslavia. Vlade Divac of the Charlotte Hornets, who had four points, was rested the entire second half. . . . Arijan Komazec was six for seven from three-point range and finished with 36 points as Croatia (1-1) cruised past China, 109-78. Toni Kukoc of the NBA champion Chicago Bulls was a surprise starter against China (1-1), finishing with nine points and 12 assists in 33 minutes. He scored 33 in the opening loss, but was not expected to play again in the preliminary round because of a broken left thumb. . . . Nikos Economou scored 36 points to lead Greece to its first-ever victory in men's Olympic basketball, 89-87 over Brazil (1-1). Greece (1-1), making its first appearance in the sport, took control in the final 3 1/2 minutes with good foul shooting and solid defense on Brazilian sharpshooter Oscar Schmidt. . . . Jose Ortiz dominated inside with 37 points and Puerto Rico (1-1) scored a 98-86 victory over South Korea (0-2).

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