posted on August 13, 2012 10:32
U.S. men struggle, defeat Spain
This was not going to be a blowout. The U.S. men's basketball team was lacking several things coming into the Olympics, including depth in the middle and that nearly caught up with them on Sunday against Spain.
But eventually, their talent and athleticism prevailed even though Spain was down by just one point after three quarters.
The Americans defended their title Sunday by pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory and their second straight Olympic championship.
LeBron James capped one of basketball's most brilliant individual years with a monster dunk and a huge 3-pointer in the final 2:50 that finally ended a Spanish threat few expected after the Americans had been so dominant for so long in London.
Yet four years after beating Spain 118-107 in a classic in Beijing, the U.S. found itself in another tight one, unable to ever really slow the Spanish down until the closing minutes.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points and James had 19 on a day he joined Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold in the same year.
Pau Gasol scored 24 points and Juan Carlos Navarro had 21 for Spain, which was again just a few minutes from its first basketball gold but couldn't finish the job against the Americans.