BASKETBALL: U.S. men’s team beats Spain for Olympic gold
Posted on August 13, 2012, Monday
LONDON: Newsday.com reported that for the second straight Olympic Games, Spain stood in between Team USA and a men’s basketball gold medal. And for the second straight Games, it was the U.S. coming out on top.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points, leading the United States to a 107-100 win and a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. LeBron James finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, and Kobe Bryant scored 17.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler finished with two points and one rebound, and forward Carmelo Anthony scored eight on 3-for-9shooting.
The two teams were within six with two minutes left when James, who had spent much of the game driving to the basket, set himself up in a one-on-one isolation with Pau Gasol. Instead of cutting to the basket, though, James stepped back and cooly drained a three, putting the U.S. up nine.
A little more than 60 seconds later, with under one minute left, Chris Paul laid a ball in to extend the U.S. lead to 104-93, prompting U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski to jump in joy, a rare display of emotion from the usually stoic coach.
The win culminates an outstanding international coaching career forKrzyzewski. The Duke coach, who said this gold medal game would be his final as the United States’ head coach, took over after the U.S. finished a disappointing third in the 2004 Athens Games. Eight years later, his resume includes a 62-1 record, and two gold medals.
Team USA led by just one at the break, a half that was dominated by whistles, with the two teams combining for 33 fouls and 39 foul shots in 20 minutes of game action. Spain starting center Marc Gasol had four in the first half; with a fifth resulting in a disqualification, his time was limited in the second half.
It was Marc’s brother, Pau, who set the tone for Spain to start the second half, though. Pau Gasol, who finished with 24 points, scored 15 of those points in the third quarter, keeping Spain within one, 83-82, heading to the fourth.
Juan Carlos Navarro added 21 points for Spain, 19 of those in the first half. Rudy Fernandez scored 14, and Marc Gasol scored 17. It wouldn’t be enough for Spain, though, which earns a silver medal for the second straight Games.