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Spain men’s basketball pounds France, to face USA-Argentina winner

Rio Olympics Basketball Men

Spain’s Nikola Mirotic (44) and teammate Sergio Rodriguez (6) walk off the court after their win over France in a men’s quarterfinal round basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Spain is back in the semifinals of the men’s basketball tournament for the third straight time after pasting France 92-67 on Wednesday.

Nikola Mirotic scored 23 for the Spaniards, who won silver medals at Beijing in 2008 and London four years ago.

Spain was in danger of missing the quarterfinals after opening the Rio Games 0-2. But it recovered with three wins, including a 50-point rout of Lithuania and 19-point thumping of Argentina to advance.

Now the Spaniards not only have a shot at a medal, but maybe another crack at the U.S., which has beaten them in the gold-medal game in the past two Olympics. The Americans meet Argentina in another quarterfinal with the winner facing Spain on Friday.

France’s Tony Parker scored 14 in what could be his final Olympic game. The 34-year-old returned after sitting out a three-point loss to the Americans with a toe injury.