Spain and USA scored a total of 225 points in Olympic Final which is already considered as the greatest basketball games of all time. When the two teams first met in group stage, Americans had no trouble beating World Champs by a massive 37 point margin. Though Spain had different plans for the final.
It was a tight game right from the start. The pace was fast with points being scored at both ends of the court pretty quickly. The score after the first period suggested a high scoring game. USA 38:31 Spain.
Neither of teams slowed the tempo as the score continued growing. 69:61 for the Americans at the half time. A score which can be seen after the final whistle in many games. For example China defeated Germany 59:55.
But the best part of the game was still to come. Americans tried to run away and their highest lead reached 14 points. It didn’t last long though. Juan Carlos Navarro stepped up for Spain. Arguably the best European shooting guard had a low tournamnet for himself but was ready to make the difference in the final.
Americans were very good from the down town. Their shooting percentage dropped a little in the end but it was still an impressive 46.4.
Despite a hard effort from NBA stars to get a comfortable lead in the third quarter, Spain didn’t give up. Juan Carlos Navarro scored 2 points at the buzzer to cut USA lead to 9 points. Spain trailed 82:91.
World Champions needed a run to catch USA and so they did. Rudy Fernandez, who will start his NBA career next season in Portland Trail Blazers, passed the balle to Pau Gasol for an alley-oop before hitting a three-pointer himself to reduce the gap to only 2 points.
It looked like a breaking point of the game. However Americans showed a strong team character and ketp the lead which was 4-6 points. Rudy Fernandez made a huge dunk over Dwight Howard attempting to turn the game the other way round. He had to watch the final minutes of the game sitting of the bench after being fouled out.
All of the Spaniards’ efforts to tie the game were answered by USA players scoring points. Kobe Bryant made a three-pointer with a foul and Spain was in trouble. A strong defense by USA made every shot very hard for Spanish players.
While Spain desperatelly tried to score, Americans were increasing their lead slowly. The bench of USA national team was celebrating the win before the final whistle as it was impossible for European vice champions to catch Americans.
United States win 118:107 (38:31, 31:30, 22:21, 27:25).
USA completed their task and will bring gold home. Meanwhile Ricky Rubio became the youngest basketball player ever to win an olympic medal.
Spain: Rudy Fernandez 22, Pau Gasol 21, Juan Carlos Navarro 18, Carlos Jimenez 12, Marc Gasol 11, Felipe Reyes 10, Ricky Rubio 6, Jorge Garbajosa 3, Alex Mumbru 2, Berni Rodriguez 2, Raul Lopez 0, Jose Manuel Calderon 0 (didn’t play).
USA: Dwyane Wade 27, Kobe Bryant 20, LeBron James 14, Chris Paul 13, Carmelo Anthony 13, Dwight Howard 8, Chris Bosh 8, Deron Williams 7, Tayshaun Prince 6, Jason Kidd 2, Carlos Boozer 0, Michael Redd 0.