Olympics: US earn Spain hoops semi as Aussies wait

Kevin Durant scored 27 points to lead defending champion United States to the Rio Olympics semi-finals after a 105-78 win over Argentina.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points to lead defending champion United States to the Rio Olympics semi-finals after a 105-78 win over Argentina. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - National Basketball Association star Kevin Durant scored 27 points and defending champion United States advanced to the Rio Olympics semi-finals by ripping Argentina 105-78 Wednesday, booking a date with revenge-hungry Spain.

The Americans stretched their Olympic win streak to 23 games and their 10-year overall win streak to 74 since losing to Greece in the 2006 World Championship semi-finals in Japan.

After their slimmest wins in the Olympic streak - three-point group-stage triumphs over France and Serbia - the US NBA stars started slow but showed top form against a veteran foe.

"I think we got our swagger back," US guard Paul George said. "We were confident shooting, we were aggressive, we kept our poise."

European champion Spain routed France 92-67 to reach a Friday semi-final with a USA side that beat them 107-100 in the 2012 Olympic final and 118-107 for 2008 gold.

"We face them everyday in the NBA," Spain guard Ricky Rubio said. "We know how tough it's going to be."

Australia dumped Lithuania 90-64 and will face either Serbia or Croatia in the other semi-final.