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Schmidt Hits Four Figures

July 29, 1996|Times Wire Services

Brazil's Oscar Schmidt has never come close to an Olympic medal, but he has scored more points than anyone in the history of Olympic men's basketball and by a wide margin. It got wider Sunday when he scored the 1,000th point of his 16-year Olympic career in a 127-97 victory over South Korea.

To put the record in perspective, the leading career U.S. scorer is Michael Jordan with 256 points in his two Olympic appearances.

"I feel like a very lucky person because I have been able to play for my national team for so long," Schmidt, 38, said after finishing the game with 25 points. "I am very proud to have played in five Olympics and set many records. I would change all my records for a medal. That's what I was looking for my whole career. I would pay any amount of money for a medal."

The closest he has come to a medal were fifth-place finishes in 1980, 1988 and 1992, and he has announced that this will be his last Olympics.

Schmidt, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in the sixth round in 1986, has played most of his professional career in Europe and Brazil and became the toast of the international basketball world when he led his team to a huge upset of the United States in the gold medal game of the 1987 Pan Am Games at Indianapolis, scoring 46 points and, afterward, staying on the court crying with a Brazilian flag wrapped around his shoulders.

In other games Sunday, Predrag Danilovic scored 22 points and Alexander Djordevic added 21 points and seven assists for unbeaten Yugoslavia, which eliminated Puerto Rico from medal contention with a 97-86 victory.

Puerto Rico used a 20-2 run in pulling to 66-64 with 8:08 to play. But Brazil managed a 16-4 surge, which included four free throws because of technical fouls assessed Puerto Rico center Jose Ortiz and Coach Carlos Morales.

Andrew Gaze scored 17 points for Australia, which advanced to a game against Croatia in the quarterfinals with a 103-62 victory over Greece.

Australia had a 20-5 lead 5:43 into the game and coasted from there.

Saulius Stombergas had 19 points as eight Lithuania players scored double figures in a 116-55 victory over China.

Lithuania, the bronze medal winner in Barcelona four years ago, held a 53-23 lead at halftime, largely built with runs of 12-0 and 14-0.

NBA players Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis combined for 25 points and 14 rebounds for Lithuania, which shot 62%.

Juan Espil scored 21 points, leading Argentina to a 66-62 victory over Angola in a game that decided fifth place in one of the six-team pools.

The game was very physical, especially surprising since both teams had been eliminated from advancing to the quarterfinals and were simply playing out the string.

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