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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Dream Team easily captures Olympic Gold
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Aug. 8, 1992

For the first time, professional basketball players are allowed to compete in the Olympics. And as expected, the Dream Team romps to the gold medal, cruising to a 117-85 victory over Croatia in the final in Barcelona.

"You will see another team of professionals," says U.S. coach Chuck Daly, "but I don't think you'll ever see another team like this. This team has a mystique and a quality that's been built over 15 years - Magic [Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and now [Michael] Jordan. This is a majestic team."

"Actually, the greatest basketball I've ever been involved in was in Monte Carlo," says Magic, referring to the Dream Team's intra-squad scrimmages.

The Dream Teamers sleep-walk through the first 10 minutes and are actually losing, 25-23. After receiving their wake-up call, they roar back to take a 56-42 halftime lead. Jordan finishes with a team-high 22 points and Charles Barkley scores 17 as seven U.S. players reach double figures.

The Dream Team wins its games by an average of 44 points, but it can't break the mark set by the 1956 U.S. team. The Bill Russell-led club won by an average of 52 points.

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