The Olympic basketball tournament is finished and team USA are the Champions beating Spain in the Gold Medal Game, 107-100. The game was competitive and wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter. With Spain down by six, frustrating the US with their junk defense, Lebron James took what seemed like a three point shot that would allow Spain to get a long rebound. But James buried the shot, pushing the US lead to nine and the clock against the Spanish team. Chris Paul then put the game out of reach with a probing, scurrying series of drives to the basket on one possession. Paul’s probes opened up a lane where he blew by Pau Gasol and laid up the ball for an eleven point lead.
Spain played well enough to win but couldn’t power past the constant shooting and athleticism of the Americans. Pau Gasol erupted in third quarter to start the second half with 15 points. He scored down in the painted area with fantastic post moves and got fouled several times to convert three point plays. Serge Ibaka also began to assert himself rebounding and scoring. One play that hurt the Americans was on a pick and roll where the “big man” would roll to the basket, get the pass from the guard and score the points. The Americans couldn’t defend that play well at all but Spain never took full advantage.
Finally they were able to adjust and held the Spanish to eleven total points in the fourth quarter. The Spanish team’s coach gambled on limiting Marc Gasol who had four fouls at the half inserting him later in the game to avoid getting his fifth foul, but as many coaches theorize in a title game that any player should “go for broke” and play through troubles because of the circumstances. The coach miscalculated and the Spanish couldn’t push forward to beat the US.