Olympics Day 14 - Basketball
Jed Jacobsohn  /  Getty Images
LeBron James shoots a jumper over Carlos Delfino of Argentina. Team USA won 101-81 to advance to the gold medal game.
updated 8/22/2008 12:17:19 PM ET 2008-08-22T16:17:19

The climb back to the top is nearly complete. One more win and U.S. basketball is golden again.

The Americans ended their streak of final four flops and Argentina’s hopes of an Olympic gold-medal repeat, starting fast and finishing strong in a 101-81 semifinal victory Friday.

All that’s left is what the U.S. players came for: a gold medal.

The United States scored 21 of the first 25 points, got a big break when Argentina star Manu Ginobili reinjured his left ankle, and surged into its first gold-medal game in eight years.

There’s still 40 minutes to go, but this U.S. team looks good as gold. All the Americans have to do now is beat Spain, who they clobbered by 37 points in pool play, on Sunday to win their first gold in a major international event since the 2000 Olympics.

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