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U.S. men’s basketball team loses to Argentina for first time since 2005

Argentina v  USA - FIBA Americas Qualifier

LA RIOJA, ARGENTINA - NOVEMBER 29: Lucas Faggiano of Argentina dribbles against Joel Berry II of USA during a match between Argentina and USA as part of FIBA Americas Qualifier for FIBA Basketball World Cup China 2019 at Superdomo on November 29, 2018 in La Rioja, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

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A senior U.S. men’s basketball team lost to Argentina for the first time since 2005, dropping a 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier 80-63 in La Rioja on Thursday.

The Americans, who also lost at Mexico in June, are still in great position to qualify for the World Cup and can clinch a spot as early as Sunday with a win at Uruguay.

The U.S. rosters for World Cup qualifying have mostly included G League players, with NBA superstars expected for September’s World Cup in China.

A U.S. Olympic team last lost at the 2004 Athens Games in the semifinals to Argentina. The following year, a U.S. team of of mostly non-NBA pros including former NCAA standouts Tyus Edney, Charlie Bell and Lynn Greer fell to Argentina at FIBA Americas.

Argentina’s team in current qualifying includes four-time Olympian and former NBA forward Luis Scola.

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