U.S. captures gold in tight game
It closer than most expected, but United States basketball won the gold in London after defeating Spain 107-100.
U.S. held a 35-27 lead after the first quarter after Kevin Durant heated up. Durant had 12 points in the first quarter including two 3′s while Carmelo Anthony added eight points off the bench. The only player for Spain that played well in the beginning was Juan Carlos Navarro with 14 points after the first quarter on 3-for-3 from deep.
Spain closed the gap early in the second quarter and took a 39-37 lead. The Spain guards were on fire from 3, hitting six of their first ten. LeBron James passed Michael Jordan on the Olympic all-time scoring list and is second all-time behind David Robinson. U.S. went into the half with a 59-58 lead with Kevin Durant leading the way with 17 points. Juan Carlos Navarro led all scorers with 19 points in the first half for Spain. There was a ridiculous 33 fouls called in 20 first half minutes which disrupted the flow of the game.
Pau Gasol took over for Spain in the third quarter as his brother Marc sat on the bench for the entire period with four fouls. Pau had 13 points to the U.S. 10 at one point early in the quarter. Durant hit a jumper to give him the most points ever scored in a single Olympics with 147. Pau had 15 points in the third quarter alone as the quarter was played even with the U.S. keeping their 1-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Durant had 27 points after three quarters of play.
Durant hit a 3 to push the lead out 7 points early in the fourth quarter. LeBron was on the bench in the fourth quarter because of his four fouls. Kevin Love provided a nice boost inside with his rebounds and Kobe Bryant started to get it going late. Great effort from Spain as the game was tight all the way until the end as the U.S. was never able to completely pull away. The competition in London was far better than anything the original Dream Team ever faced and a sign of how much better the game has gotten worldwide.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points and has the record for most points in an Olympics with 156. Kobe Bryant added 17 in the last Olympics of his career. LeBron started to take control late in the fourth with a dunk and a 3 and he finished with 19 points and another championship to add to his resume. Love had 9 points and 9 big rebounds while Carmelo finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Chris Paul had 11 points and 3 assists. Pau Gasol led Spain with 24 points.