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Defense must be U.S.'s gold standard

Updated: August 4, 2004, 12:04 PM ET
By Dr. Jack Ramsay | Special to ESPN.com

The United States, a co-favorite with Argentina in the minds of many to win the gold medal in the upcoming Olympic games, lost on Tuesday to a mediocre Italian national team, 95-78. It was the most lopsided defeat suffered in international basketball competition for the U.S. since it added NBA players to its roster in 1992.

The outcome of the game was seldom in doubt after the opening minutes of play. The U.S. led 8-7 with 4:43 remaining in the first period. It was the last time it was ahead ...

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