Chicago Bulls forward Andres Nocioni grabbed 18 points to lead defending Olympic champions Argentina to a 77-53 victory over Croatia on Thursday in their Olympic men's basketball Group A matchup.
In what quickly proved to be a lopsided game, Toronto Raptors guard Carlos Delfino added 15 points and San Antonio Spurs' guard Manu Ginobli another 14. No Croatian player made it into double digits.
The key for the Argentines was smoother passing and better teamwork, with the team notching up 18 assists on 28 field goals and shooting 52 percent from the field. Croatia, ranked 20th in the world and unbeaten going into Thursday's game, managed just 33 percent shooting.
In Group B action, tournament favorites the United States broke open a close game and went on to a 92-69 victory over Greece, which had waylaid them in the semifinals of the world championships two years ago.
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming scored 30 points to lead China to an 85-68 win against Angola, giving the Olympic hosts their first victory in the games' mens' basketball competition. Rimantas Kaukenas scored a team-leading 20 points as Lithuania defeated Russia, and in what had been an extremely close game, Lithuania pulled ahead in the final minutes 82-77 on a thundering three-pointer by Jonas Maciulis.
Brad Newley scored 24 points to lead Australia to a 106-68 win against Iran. Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol had 13 points in world champions Spain's 72-59 victory against Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki-led Germany. Nowitzki scored 11 points for Germany.