LAS VEGAS (FIBA Americas Championship) - The United States sealed the top seed in the Semifinal Round of the FIBA Americas Championship with a 91-76 victory over Argentina in the final game of the day on Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center. The 15-point win for the U.S. was its' smallest margin of victory in this tournament.
The U.S. raced out to a 28-13 lead after the first quarter, relying on the hot hand of Kobe Bryant, who netted 15 of the team's points in the opening stanza. Bryant, who led all scorers with 27 points, connected on 10-of-15 shots from the field in just under 23 minutes of play.
After leading by as many as 25 points earlier in the contest, the U.S. took a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter. Argentina outscored the U.S. by six and held the Americans to five rebounds in the final quarter.
Luis Scola paced the Argentines with 20 points and five rebounds while Diego Logrippo added 11 points.
Semifinal action begins on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT when Argentina takes on Brazil. The United States will face Puerto Rico in the nightcap at 4 p.m. PT.