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Olympics: USA basketball stars survive Serbian scare

United States' DeMarcus Cousins (12) drives to the basket over Serbia's Miroslav Raduljica, right, during a basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (Elsa/Pool Photo via AP)

United States’ DeMarcus Cousins (12) drives to the basket over Serbia’s Miroslav Raduljica, right, during a basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (Elsa/Pool Photo via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO—The USA basketball squad survived a last-second scare to beat a pesky Serbian team 94-91 and go 4-0 in Rio Olympic basketball action on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

With a historic upset brewing, Serbia’s Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a three-pointer at the buzzer to hand the Americans a tough, grind-it-out victory and stay unbeaten at the Olympics since 2004.

The American stars saw off a spirited challenge for the second straight game, two days after Australia hung with them for much of a match that the USA eventually took by 10 points.

READ: Olympics: US NBA stars tested by Aussies in 98-88 win

Kyrie Irving led the Americans with 15 points.

The USA used swarming defense to shut down the Serbs early, forcing eight turnovers in the opening quarter and 11 for the first half to jump out to a quick 18-point advantage.

Three straight first-quarter dunks, including two by US center DeAndre Jordan, made it 23-5 with 3:30 to go in the half and it appeared to signal that NBA showtime had started.

But mental miscues and sloppy passes on offence prevented the USA from putting the hammer down, and the Serbs closed to 50-41 at halftime.

They slowly chipped away in the fourth quarter and closed to 94-91.

The USA then missed three shots, setting up Bogdanovic’s last-second attempt.

The USA has won the last three Olympic gold medals.

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