LONDON >> One more for the gold, and seemingly nothing that can prevent it.
This U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team might not slow down until it’s standing at the center of the medals platform again.
Kevin Durant scored 19 points, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony added 18 apiece, and the U.S. powered its way back to the gold-medal game by beating Argentina 109-83 on Friday night.
"Anything less than this would have been unsatisfying for us," Anthony said. "We believe that we could get here and we’re here now. We got one game left."
The U.S. will play Spain on Sunday, a rematch of their victory four years ago for the title in Beijing.
The Americans have said they feel this team is better than that squad, and they are certainly more potent.
In the third straight Olympic semifinal between the U.S. and Argentina, the Americans kept pulling ahead only to see the Argentines climb back in — until James and Durant finally put them away for good.
Manu Ginobili scored 18 points for Argentina, which needs to beat Russia on Sunday in the bronze-medal game to medal for the third straight Olympics.
Kobe Bryant scored 11 of his 13 points to get the U.S off to a quick start, but Argentina hung around until early in the second half, just as it did Monday in the final game of pool play.
"We had a great run in the first half," Ginobili said. "We started the third very well. And then we blinked."
And just like that night, the Americans hit them with a wave of dunks and 3-pointers in the third quarter that turned it into a romp.
In the other semi-final game, Spain’s Pau Gasol put Sergio Rodriguez on his back for a victory ride off the floor.
Marc Gasol rumbled into the stands to hug anyone he could get his hands on, and his teammates embraced members of their country’s royal family.
Jose Calderon scored 14 points — 12 in the second half — and Pau Gasol added 16 as Spain rallied after trailing at halftime for a 67-59 win in the men’s Olympic basketball tournament over Russia today, setting up a potential second straight final against the U.S.
The Spaniards’ hopes for gold nearly dried up. They trailed by 13 in the first quarter and 11 at the half before the defending silver medalists dug down and showed why they’re the world’s No. 2-ranked team.
Spain shot just 21 percent in the opening half, but recovered to keep alive hopes of winning a first Olympic gold medal.
Sasha Kaun scored 14 points and Andrei Kirilenko, playing with a leg injury, added 10 for Russia.