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U.S.-Serbia play for hoop gold today

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The U.S. men's basketball team takes on Serbia in the gold-medal game at 2:45 p.m. today at Carioca Arena. They're a solid favorite, but this isn't the women's team. They only beat Serbia by three in pool play, 94-91, and Serbia had a chance to  tie with a late three-pointer.

The Americans are getting remarkably balanced scoring in the Games. Kevin Durant of the Warriors (almost wrote Thunder) leads with 17.9 points a game. Then there are nine players averaging between eight and 13 a game. Carmelo Anthony averages 12.9, Kyrie 12.4 and Paul George 11.6. Irving leads in assists with 5.0 a game.

Mike Krzyzewski has done a job of spreading out the minutes, which is easy to do when you have no shot at missing the medal round. It'll be interesting to see how Coach K manages playing time today. I would not be surprised to see Golden State's Klay Thompson, an excellent defender, play a larger role. His Warriors teammate, Draymond Green, has been buried on the bench of late.

Krzyzewski is looking for his 10th major championship. He has won five NCAA titles at Duke, plus two Olympic gold medals and two World Championships since taking over the U.S. national team a decade ago. He is 58-1, with the only loss to the Greeks in the worlds in 2006.

Serbia beat Croatia and Australia to reach the championship game after going 2-3 in  pool play to advance. Their best player is Nicola Jokic, a 6-10 center who was an NBA rookie last year for the Denver Nuggets. Jokic, the youngest player on either team at 21, averaged 10 points and seven rebounds for Denver last season.

There are no other active NBA players on Serbia, though most of them play in top European leagues. Bogdan Bogdanovic, a 6-6 shooting guard, was the 27th overall choice for Phoenix in the 2014 draft, but hasn't played in the NBA. His rights were traded to Sacramento in this past June's NBA draft.

Bogdonavic is not to be confused with Bojan Bogdanovic, who averaged 11.2 points a  game last year for the NBA's Nets.

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