ATHENS -- Italy used incredible 3-point shooting to advance to the gold medal men's basketball game for just the second time at the Olympics.
Making more than 60 percent of its shots from beyond the arc, Italy beat Lithuania, 100-91, last night and will play Argentina for the title. The only other time Italy played for the gold was in 1980, when it lost to the Soviet Union.
Argentina, which beat the United States, 89-81, in the other semifinal, had never finished better than fourth, and that was in the 1952 Games.
"This is a dream. I can't believe it," Italy's Nikola Radulovic said. "I am afraid I'll wake up tomorrow and find out it's not true. But it is."
Gianluca Basile scored 31 points for Italy, which finished 18 for 28 from 3-point range (64 percent) in a game that featured a series of runs by both teams.
Lithuania trailed by 10 points entering the fourth quarter but went on a 15-0 run to take a 78-73 lead with 6:34 to play.
Italy answered with a 12-0 run, with the last 6 points coming on -- what else? -- 3-pointers by Giacomo Galanda and Basile, who was 7 for 11 from beyond the arc.
Galanda's 3 came with 2:21 to play and it was Italy's first field goal of the fourth quarter. Lithuania couldn't come up with a final run and Italy guaranteed itself at least a silver medal. Italy beat Argentina, 76-75, in the teams' final preliminary round game.
Arvydas Macijauskas, who had 32 points in the quarterfinal win over China, scored 26 for Lithuania.