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After slow start, Team USA rebounds to blow out Argentina

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After playing below the expectations set for them in wins over Australia, Serbia and France, the U.S. men’s basketball team began knockout round against Argentina looking not only to advance but to also perform better on both ends of the floor.

Things didn’t go as planned at the start however, as Argentina jumped out to a 19-9 lead with point guard Facundo Campazzo getting going early to lead the way. But with Carmelo Anthony getting into early foul trouble and the perimeter defense lacking, Mike Krzyzewski went to a backcourt trio of Kyle Lowry, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. The improved defense sparked by those three, combined with Kevin Durant’s hot shooting, ultimately resulted in a 105-78 U.S. victory.

Next up for the Americans will be Spain, a team playing much better than they were at the start of this competition. Spain has lost to the U.S. in each of the last two Olympic gold medal games.

WATCH: Kevin Durant leads Team USA to men’s basketball semifinals

Durant finished with a game-high 27 points, shooting 9-for-13 from the field and 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. He was one of four players in double figures for the U.S., with Paul George adding 17 points, DeMarcus Cousins 15 and Kyrie Irving 11. But scoring hasn’t been, nor will it be, an issue for the U.S. even with the occasional issue of a lack of ball and player movement. The defense was the problem in those three close victories to end pool play, and the major improvement made there is the big takeaway from Wednesday’s win.

MORE: U.S. knocks off Argentina to advance to semis

Argentina was a good matchup for the U.S. given their lack of a back to the basket post scoring option, but their ability (especially Campazzo) to operate off of ball screens could have been an issue for the U.S. But thanks in large part to Lowry, George and Butler it wasn’t, and their energy on the defensive end of the floor impacted the rest of the team. As a result Argentina shot just 38 percent from the field and 8-for-32 from three, with Luis Scola scoring a team-best 15 points.

Argentina’s loss signals the end of an era for that nation, as Manu Ginobili has played in his final Olympics (Andres Nocioni announced his international retirement following the game). Ginobili was given a curtain call in the game’s final minutes, with fans, teammates and opponents all showing respect to a man who will certainly be a Hall of Fame inductee down the line. And as far as the U.S. is concerned, they owe a debt of gratitude to the “Golden Generation” of Ginobili, Nocioni, Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola.

Ginobili: “I’ve been so lucky”

USA Basketball’s last Olympic defeat came to Argentina in the semifinals of the 2004 Olympics in Beijing, with that sparking a deep look into the program that ultimately resulted in the hiring of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski.

The U.S., now two wins away from a third straight Olympic gold medal, hasn’t lost in Olympic play since.

Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final