Team USA Win Gold With 107 - 100 Victory Over Spain August 12, 2012 17:02
Team USA took on Spain this afternoon in the eagerly anticipated gold medal match in the London 2012 Olympics. Despite many basketball fans expecting a USA blow out, Spain kept the match close, with supporters on both sides on the edge of their seats.
Both teams started the game shooting well from the field, most notably Spain's Juan-Carlos Navarro who drained three 3 pointers in the first few minutes of the game. The USA were particularly hot shooting 7 of 10 from 3 point range for the quarter, keeping them ahead of spain. The first quarter ended 35-27 to the USA, with Kevin Durant getting a massive block on Pau Gasol as the buzzer sounded.
Early in the second quarter Spain pulled the game back, to take a two point lead with 7:18 left on the clock. Over the next several minutes both teams exchange points, with no more than a couple of points separating the teams.
Spain were reliant on their big men, but with five and a half minutes left on the clock, Marc Gasol picked up his fourth foul, leaving the game so as not to foul out. The second quarter ended in scrappy fashion with neither team getting into a rhythm due to a lot of fouls being called on nearly every play.
The US bench were warned that they would get a technical if they didn't calm down. After entering the game late in the half, Andre Iguodala was called for an unsportsmanlike foul for holding Rudy Fernandez back after losing out on a loose ball. The half ended with the USA leading 59 points to 58. Pau Gasol came out in the 3rd and dominated with 6 points in just over 2 minutes to get Spain off on the right foot, including an and-1 in a tussle with Tyson Chandler under the basket. Chandler went out, and Kevin Love came in to defend in the post, but Gasol pulled more great baskets out of his post-play arsenal, taking Spain briefly into the lead.
USA kept up the pressure, and with 5 minutes left we were seeing the team USA that we're used to, with an explosive fast break ending in a dunk by LeBron James, levelling the game at 70 a piece. But Spain didn't let them get carried away, and they stayed close to the USA, finishing just one point behind at 83-82 for the third.
Spain started the fourth with Pau Gasol on the bench, and Ibaka on the floor as their big man. It was quickly apparent that they needed Gasol back on the floor as USA moved to a 6 point lead. The biggest lead for quite some time.
When Gasol did come back on, it wasn't long before he was hit in the face in the paint by LeBron James, causing him to have to go back to the bench to have a cut seen to. Marc Gasol came on in his place, but as he was already on 4 fouls, he had to hold back a bit to be careful to not pick up that fatal 5th foul. Spain called a time out with 6:10 on the clock with the score line at 93 - 86 to USA.
After the time out, both Gasol brothers were back on the floor as the USA managed to stretch their lead to 9 points. The USA called a time out with 3:20 to go in the quarter, with the scoreline at 97 - 91. Spain had been undeterred and forced the USA into a couple of turnovers that helped keep them in the game.
Back out on the court, USA started to apply the pressure again, and their lead quickly extended to 102 - 93 after a great 3 pointer from LeBron James. Spain had done extremely well to keep the game close throughout, and an 7 points deficit at the end of a gold medal match against the USA is definitely nothing to be ashamed of. The game ended 107 - 100 to USA. So to close out the London 2012 Olympics, USA take gold, Spain take silver, and Russia took away bronze.