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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | BASKETBALL

Schmidt's Career Ends, but Not in Victory

August 03, 1996|Times Wire Services

It's over for Oscar Schmidt.

And it didn't end gloriously as Giorgis Sigalas made eight of 10 three-point shots and scored 35 points as Greece beat Brazil, 91-72, to take fifth place in its debut in the men's basketball tournament.

The loss capped the five-Olympic career of Schmidt, the leading scorer in the history of the Games with 1,093 points.

He finished with 21 against Greece for an average of 27.3 in a career that started in Moscow and ended in Atlanta. Brazil, however, never finished better than fifth in Schmidt's five appearances.

Greece broke from a 56-56 tie with 10-0 run capped by a three-point shot by Costas Patavoukas with 11:08 to play. Brazil couldn't get untracked in the second half, missing 26 of its first 32 shots as Greece opened a 79-63 lead.

Schmidt, 38, was seven of 23 from the field, including five of 17 on three-point shots. Barring a remarkable performance in today's bronze- and gold-medal games, Schmidt will finish as the tournament's leading scorer at 27.3 points per game, his third straight Olympics in that role. He owns the Olympic game record of 55 points against Spain in 1988.

When the game ended, his teammates surrounded him and began bowing with arms extended, but Schmidt brought them together in a group hug as the crowd gave him a rousing ovation.

In other action, Toni Kukoc had 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in leading Croatia to a 99-85 victory over China and a disappointing seventh-place finish.

Coming off a silver medal in its debut in 1992, Croatia was considered one of the medal favorites entering the competition.

Meanwhile, Juan Espil and Diego Osella scored 17 points apiece as Argentina beat Puerto Rico, 87-77, in the ninth-place game and David Dias had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead Angola to its first victory, a 99-61 rout of South Korea, in the 11th-place game.

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