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High five as USA women take title - London 2012 - Basketball

The USA women's team extended their own record as they won a fifth straight Basketball gold medal by beating France 86-50.

Candace Parker dominated France, scoring 21 points and 11 rebounds, and capitalising on key mistakes as the USA effectively wrapped up victory early in the third quarter.

This was their 41st straight victory in Olympic competition, a run that stretches back to the Barcelona 1992 bronze-medal game against Cuba.

Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird all collected their third straight gold medal, and were greeted with a standing ovation from their team-mates when coach Geno Auriemma took them out of the game together inside the final two minutes.

France, playing in only their second Olympics and secure in the knowledge of at least silver, kept pace through the first quarter until the arrival into the game of Florence Lepron, who appeared unsettled, committing three quick turnovers which the USA took back for six points.

That helped to spark an 11-2 run that gave the USA a 22-15 lead early in the second quarter.

France did not go away, as Sandrine Gruda hit a pair of free throws, then stole the ball from Taurasi to add a lay-up.

They had a chance to cut the deficit to two following Celice Dumerc's steal, but Emilie Gomis missed her lay-up and Gruda could not make either of two follow-ups as France wasted valuable offensive rebounds.

For the USA, Parker was having no such trouble, turning three successive offensive rebounds into six points as they pulled away to lead 37-25 at half-time.

The teams traded blows to start the second half but France were missing chances to close the gap as they struggled at the rim.

After Gruda could only split her free throws, Taurasi made a jump shot and Birdscored a three to make it 50-32.

The game only got worse for France as Endene Miyem limped out late in the third quarter and the USA kept the points coming in the midst of a 19-0 streak.

Parker made it a 20-point game, 52-32, and when Tina Charles split a pair of free throws late in the third quarter the gap hit 30.

Bird finished with 11 points for the USA, while Gruda and Edwige Lawson-Wade led France with 12 apiece. Earlier, Australia beat Russia 83-74 to claim the bronze medal.

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