ATHENS, Greece – Stephon Marbury (search) set a U.S. Olympic record with 31 points, and a U.S. team that spent the first week and a half of the Athens Games missing jumpers finally found its range in a 102-94 victory against Spain in the quarterfinals Thursday.
The Americans made 12 of 22 3-pointers and knocked the previously undefeated Spaniards out of medal contention with their best all-around performance of the games.
They didn't let a large foul disparity rattle them, knocked down their free throws when they needed them and surpassed 100 points for the first time in the tournament.
As the teams left the court, U.S. coach Larry Brown and Spanish coach Mario Pesquera were pointing angrily at each other and had to be separated by their assistants.
Allen Iverson (search) added 16 points, Carlos Boozer had 12 and Lamar Odom 11 for the Americans, who advanced to the semifinals against the winner of the Argentina-Greece game.
Pau Gasol led Spain with 29 points but was held to just four in the fourth quarter by a tenacious American defensive effort.
Duncan scored the Americans' first five points and blocked Spain's first shot, but he was on the bench just 4 1/2 minutes into the quarter and stayed there for the rest of the first half after picking up two fouls. The U.S. team made four of its first five 3-point attempts, and the first quarter ended in a 25-25 tie.
In a seesaw second quarter, the Americans went ahead by eight points, feeding off the defensive energy of Dwyane Wade, before Spain rallied with an 11-0 run. The United States led 44-43 at halftime despite giving up 18 points to Gasol and being called for 14 of the game's 19 fouls.
Marbury hit a pair of 3s early in the third quarter, and Brown took a risk by leaving Duncan in after he picked up his third foul with 5:22 left. Marbury reached 21 points — matching his total from the Americans' first five games — on a 3-pointer that gave the U.S. team a 63-56 lead.
A 7-0 run by Spain tied the game, but Carmelo Anthony ended the quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Americans a 74-67 lead.
Odom drew his fifth and final foul with 5:29 left and the Americans ahead 80-73, and it was 82-78 when Marbury hit the team's 12th 3-pointer. Duncan's putback increased the lead to 87-78.
Gasol didn't score his first points of the fourth quarter until 2:02 remained, and the Americans made seven straight free throws after Spain started intentionally fouling to stay comfortably ahead.