RIO DE JANEIRO -- The U.S. mens basketball team expected this.Whether it was for the gold medal, as in the last two Olympics, or just along the road to gold, the Americans figured they would see the Spanish again.No doubt in my mind, Kevin Durant said.Well, here they are.The worlds top teams meet again Friday in the semifinals, with Spain getting another chance to finish the job against the U.S. after being oh-so-close in the last two gold-medal games.Weve been battling against them for a long time, Spain point guard Ricky Rubio said. Weve always come up short. It would be a dream for us to beat them. I really think we can do it, but we have to have the perfect game.They played superb ones in 2008 and 2012, but not good enough.The U.S. pulled away to win 118-107 in Beijing, then fought off an even fiercer challenge in London, winning 107-100. And when the Spanish opened this tournament with two straight losses, it was easy to think they wouldnt get another shot at the Americans.Spain never discounted its chances.Neither did the U.S.Weve always felt Spain, theyd have a gold-medal chance, and why wouldnt we think that? U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. The last two gold-medal games weve played were against them and they were great, great games.The Americans couldnt relax until the final minute of the last one, when Krzyzewski leaped triumphantly in front of the bench -- nothing approaching the Olympic high jump record, but the best he can do.Now 69 and coming off knee, hernia and ankle surgeries this spring, Krzyzewski might show he still has some hops if the Americans win more gold.If we win, Im sure Ill jump around a little bit, he said.Age hasnt slowed Spain down, either.Surging into the semifinals with American-esque dominance, the Spanish have won four straight to stave off elimination. Spain beat Nigeria 96-87, crushed Lithuania 109-59 and topped Argentina 92-73 to battle back for a quarterfinal spot, then ran away from France 92-67 on Wednesday.I think the first couple of games we were close to, but we couldnt get to the next step, veteran guard Jose Calderon said. Sometimes its the pressure, sometimes its whatever it is, but we click again.The winner plays Australia or Serbia on Sunday.Already without Marc Gasol, who broke his foot during the NBA season, Spain had to go portions of its training camp in July without Pau Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez while they handled free agency. So the Spanish arrived in Brazil a little more disjointed than precise, but thats over with now.We couldnt play any better in the tournament, Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.The Americans were dominant again in their quarterfinal after three close calls, beating Argentina 105-78.When we lock in, I dont think anybody can stop us, Carmelo Anthony said. When we focus in and we kind of dedicate ourselves to playing the right way, its a scary sight out there.Anthony noticed the competitiveness of Group B, where the top four teams all finished 3-2, and wondered if Spain could dig its way out of its early hole. But the rest of the American contingent that has been around for all the matchups with the Spanish never believed the talk that Spain, even with Gasol, Calderon and five-time Olympian Juan Carlos Navarro nearing the end of their brilliant careers, was too old for another run.I never said they were too old. I never said any of those things. Other people are making comments. All weve said is we have great respect for them, said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, adding that Spain was one of the models he looked at when he took over the program in 2005.Added Krzyzewski: They show up and they show up big time.Now this generation of Spanish players, which won a world championship in 2006 and has carried its country to the No. 2 ranking in the world, is probably getting its final opportunity to win Olympic gold.The Americans have turned them away twice.Now they need to do it again to take the next step toward their goal.I know for us, its one game or nothing. Its all or nothing for us, Anthony said. Thats our mindset and we dont plan on letting anything come between us.---AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.---Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney Cheap Baltimore Ravens Jerseys . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. 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Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March, reported symptoms on Monday morning, a team spokesman said.Sky Sports News HQ presenter Alex Hammond says shes looking forward to seeing Dynaste in action this afternoon. Lizzie Kelly enhanced her burgeoning reputation with victory aboard Agrapart in the Betfair Hurdle last Saturday - what did you make of the performance of winning horse and rider, and did any of the vanquished enter the notebook for the remainder of the season?Lizzie is proving what common sense has always told us: that given the right material female jockeys are more than capable of holding their own against the men on a racecourse. There are bound to be scores of female jockeys around the world saying to themselves if only I could get on a decent horse, then Id show everyone what I am capable of. You cant get off and carry the horse, its either good enough or its not and jockeys nowadays are taking fitness and nutrition to another level and getting stronger and more proficient as a result. I bet in 50 years it will be a much more level playing field, thanks to the likes of Lizzie and her peers, and racing professionals in half a century will be bemused at the lack of opportunity for women back then.It was a good performance by Agrapart who is a classy, unexposed type who relished the testing ground at Newbury. It seems Cheltenham wont be on his agenda as the ground is unlikely to come right for him, but he should have a big future, albeit he is clearly ground dependent.Starchitect is the obvious one to mention aside from the winner as his blunder at the final flight cost him dear. There should be more to come from him. I also thought my selection, Affair DHonneur ran extremely well for Harry Whittington and Ill be following him off a cliff for now in the hope the cards drop right next time - which they didnt on Saturday as he had far too much ground to make up.The Imperial Cup could be his next port of call and he looks on a mark that hell be capable of winning off, especially as that was only his fifth outing and theres more to come. Sternrubin was another runner I expected more from and his run was too bad to be true so hopefully Philip Hobbs will get to the bottom of it and well see a revitalised performance next time.Top Gamble beat Dodging Bullets by 10 lengths in the Game Spirit Chase, but can you envisage either of them having a major say at the Cheltenham Festival next month?Well Id expect Dodging Bullets to improve plenty for his first run for 11 months and the heavy ground was completely against him. Im sure Paul Nicholls would have preferred to have run him on a better surface given half a chance, but the suitable races are few and far between and they had to deal with the hand they were given. Dodging Bullets apparently had a good blow afterwards and they have a month now to fine tune him for the Champion Chase, a race hes 10/1 to win for the second year running with Sky Bet.Ive always been a big fan of Un De Sceaux, but thats one horse and I doubt Dodging Bullets will line up if Nicholls doesnt feel hes made the necessary improvement. Nicholls said he had the horse as fit as he had ever had him at home before a run, but its a very different environment on the rack.Now, I do a bit of running and can usually be found dollying along the roads at home well inside my comfort zone. However, when I enter an event my competitive side kicks in and I nearly give myself a coronary pushing myself to my (rather pathetic) limit! Its no different for horses, particularly a horse with 28 starts to his name. That will have woken him up and hes now an attractive each-way price.As for Top Gamble, Im delighted for Kerry Lee who has made a dream start to her training career. Results like this are just what the doctor ordered when youre starting out, even though the family have a good reputation and she was taking over from her successful father, Richard.These sorts of big-race wins will be important in order to establish her as a successful trainer in her own right and it couldnt be going better right now. Top Gamble (getting 5lbs from Dodging Bullets last weekend) obviously thrives in testing ground which he is unlikely to encounter at the Festival and whilst the Ryanair is a possibility, I wont be rushing to take the 25/1 currently available with Sky Bet. Punchestown may suit him better.Do you think Silviniaco Conti is a worthy favourite for Saturdays Betfair Ascot Chase, or does he have too much to prove now following his King George disappointment?Its been well documented that Nicholls has had to deal with sarcoids with Silviniaco Conti for some time, and before the King George. For those of you that dont know what they are (and I would have fallen into that category myself had I not owned a horse once with these unsightly and angry looking lumps of proud flesh), they are skin tumours that can pop up on most parts of a horses anatomy.They can be angry, prominent and generally pretty offensive, but they do vary in severity. The problem with sarcoids is they tend to be fairly persistent and can be hard to treat. Often they dont cause any problems, but if they are in an area that a horse needs to wear tack or they can easily catch, then they can be a devil! There are scores of different treatments and there doesnt appear to be any one truly effective method of getting rid of them.So, therein lies the problem for a trainer with a horse suffering from sarcoids (Google them and youll get an idea, but not if you are a bit squeamish!). Apparently Silviniaco Contis was near his girth; far from ideal. There is some positive news though as we are told by his trainer that the 10 year-old had his palate re-cauterised in early January as his breathing had been causingg him some problems again.ddddddddddddNicholls is always very open with this sort of information and its a real help to know when a horse has had its wind done. Having said all of that, Aintree will be his ultimate target this season and I think he could be opposable on Saturday at the likely prices.Dynaste is closest to the ante-post favourite in the ratings and I hope we see the horse we know and love on Saturday. David Pipe has also filled us in with the important piece of information that his grey has had a breathing operation since his moderate effort over hurdles behind Thistlecrack in December. Like the favourite, he has plenty to prove too, but nothing else jumps out at me in the field and he gets my vote after a couple of decent efforts over fences prior to that when he was obviously struggling with his breathing.The weights were revealed for the Crabbies Grand National on Tuesday - is there anything that stands out as a knocking good ante-post bet for the great race at this early stage?Well, as much as Id love to see Many Clouds emulate Rummy and win back to back Grand Nationals for his enthusiastic owner Trevor Hemmings, I think it will be an almighty achievement if he can repeat the performance with top weight this year. So, hes out for me, certainly as 12/1 favourite.Gordon Elliott leapt into our consciousness when sending out Silver Birch to win the 2007 Grand National in the early days of his training career. He has some interesting entries including former French trained Ucello Conti who is currently a 33/1 shot. The horse has 10st 8lb which is an attractive weight and ensures hell get a run. Having jumped round Auteuil on many occasions the fences at Aintree wont seem out of the ordinary and he has only fallen once in a 28-race career. He has a couple of entries next weekend and Ill be watching him with interest.Don Poli is a 25/1 shot and he of course beat Many Clouds at Aintree in December. He strikes me as the type of horse that could take to the National and he certainly has plenty of class. He is still only seven years old though and maybe hes one for next season; he has the Gold Cup on his agenda first and Willie Mullins will take a view on the National after that. The same comments apply to stable mate Valseur Lido, while Boston Bob (66/1) and Sir Des Champs (40/1) also hail from the Mullins powerhouse along with Ballycasey who was brought down last year.The Druids Nephew is a horse that deserves better luck this time round. Neil Mulhollands nine-year-old has bang on 11 stone and was going well when falling five out last year. He is 20/1 with Sky Bet and Id be happy enough to be holding an antepost voucher for him. He is entered up at Kempton next weekend.Is there anything in Haydocks Betfred Grand National Trial on Saturday, or the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse, that youll be monitoring closely with Aintree in mind?I fancied David Pipes Broadway Buffalo as my National horse at the beginning of the season and hes currently 50/1 with Sky Bet for the big race, but we havent seen much of him this season. He is entered to run in both the Celebration Chase at Ascot and the Grand National Trial at Haydock (10/1 with Sky Bet) this weekend and I cant wait to see him back on track.He last ran at Auteuil in Paris in November over hurdles and he must have given handicapper Phil Smith a headache when it came to allotting him a weight for Aintree. Unfortunately he has only been given 10 stone and I dont think that will be enough to get him in the race in April. You never know though and Ill be keeping a close eye on him this weekend.Shutthefrontdoor is also entered up, although not in either of those races. Hes in the Celebration Chase at Ascot and over hurdles at Haydock. Shutthefrontdoor was Sir Anthony McCoys ride in the National last year where he faded into fifth. He has had a spin over hurdles this season back in November and I wont be writing off his chances at Aintree as lasts years run will have been informative for the horse and connections.He doesnt enjoy a slog in the mud and his stable hasnt been firing on all cylinders, so its as well he has stayed home at Jackdaws Castle rather than have the guts pulled out of him in the mud - hes 18/1 for the National and a key player. In the same ownership, Cause of Causes is one to watch in the Bobbyjo Chase. He has stamina to burn and was staying on in eighth in the National last year, although he isnt guaranteed to get a run come April 9.And finally...On a final note, it was a real blow to hear that Faugheen has injured a suspensory and will miss the Cheltenham Festival. That has thrown the Champion Hurdle wide open and Im not sure Id be dashing to take the 2/1 on offer now for Annie Power after her reappearance at Punchestown. Not that she wasnt impressive: she did exactly what you would like to see, but thats short enough given that she is basically untested at top level against the boys.Nichols Canyon has generally played second fiddle to the headline horses from the same stable but did beat Faugheen earlier in the season and the 5/1 about him looks more attractive. Its also worth remembering that My Tent Or Yours is still on the radar and was second in the race in 2014 having filled the same spot in the Supreme the season before. With Faugheen out, at 8/1 hes not an unattractive price even if we havent seen him since April 2014. Sky Bet offer non-runner, no bet in the race - good news for those who backed Faugheen recently! Also See: Live results service Full racecards Get Sky Sports Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jersyes Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '