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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Ready To Victimize Yugoslavia

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Dream Team took its almost preordained place in the Olympic basketball final by beating Australia 101-73.


In Saturday's final they meet Yugoslavia, Thursday's 66-58 winners over Lithuania.


"They have one goal, to get the gold medal, and they are more than certain to do that," said Australia's Tony Ronaldson after the Dream Team's latest success.


Charles Barkley led the Americans with 24 points on 100 percent shooting from the field -- 7-for-7 including one 3-pointer -- and was 9-for-11 from the free throw line.


Australian Andrew Gaze led all scorers with 25 points but was limited to just four in a second half that belonged to the Dream Team as one after another of the NBA's great defenders guarded the sharpshooting Gaze.


The Australians stayed close for 15 minutes of a first half that saw 16 ties or lead changes. But an Anfernee Hardaway 3-pointer with 5:15 to go in the half broke a 36-36 tie and started a 7-0 U.S. run.


The Americans built their lead to 51-41 at the end of the half.


Yugoslavia, like the Americans, undefeated in the tournament, scored the last eight points of a tense game against Lithuania to earn a tilt at the all-conquering Dream Team.


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Yelena Baranova scored 37 points, two off the Olympic record for women's basketball, and Russia closed the game with an 11-1 run for an 80-69 victory over Japan on Thursday in the consolation semifinals.