It’s not every Olympics that you get to see the top two basketball teams in the world go at it in the quarter finals. Well, that’s what happened as the US and Spain got a chance to face off again. The basketball knockouts for the Olympics continue until the end of the games.
It was a slow start for both sides besides a Kevin Durant dunk. Spain was playing a lot of zone. Spain heated up and Ricky Rubio was dealing. He had 13 of Spain’s 17 points. The US took timeout to stop Sprain’s momentum as they closed the gap 19-17. Out of the timeout, the US looked flat. Meanwhile, Spain looked really good. Spain returned eight players from their last Olympic team. Spain had the lead 21-19 after one. Any players for Spain who don’t have NBA experience have played in the ACB league in Spain, that league is held in high regard as the next best league talent wise behind the NBA.
Again, it was a slow start for both sides. Spain played amazing defense. The US was ice cold from distance. Jayson Tatum finally got a three to get the US out of the doldrums. However, they got cold again as Spain was out rebounding and playing the US in all facets. Spain went on a 16-3 run. The US closed in and Durant took over. Spain took a timeout with the score 43-41. The decision to bench Rubio after a hot streak in the first came back to bite Spain in the you know what. A Zach Lavine dunk tied the game at 43 and ended the quarter.
Durant came out shooting and the US looked sharp. Spain was concerned early and took a quick timeout. The timeout did not help as the US came out like an avalanche, hard and fast. Devin Booker was finding his groove after a quiet first half. The US was on a 20-7 run and it grew from there as they began to look like the USA basketball we all know and love. Rubio continued his good shooting for Spain. Team USA had the lead 69-63 as Spain finished on an 11-2 run.
It was do or die time as both teams made some mistakes while trying to take over. The US tried to fend off Spain as Spain began to panic. The US at one point had a 9-0 run. Spain kept fighting as Rubio increased his total to 34. The Americans floored the gas pedal and Spain tried to calm the waters with timeout. It didn’t do any good and despite Rubio’s 38 points, Team USA won 95-81. Anything can happen in the Olympics.
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