LeBron James and team USA have once again captured the elusive gold medals in the Olympics. To finish off a season where he won regular season MVP, NBA finals MVP and an NBA championship, James can now add a gold medal to the honors. You can find the game recap, followed by a brief game review below.
Navarro started the game off well, making a 4-point play as he was fouled on a 3-pointer. Spain made it clear that they were not going to give anything for free, as Calderon committed a flagrant foul on Kevin Durant, raising the emotion of the game. Team USA stayed true to their identity, taking, and making, a lot of 3-point shots. Eventually team USA stepped it up defensively, and pushed their lead to 10. Rudy Fernandez came up with the most spectacular play of the quarter, as he cut to the basket to receive and dunk a lob. First quarter turned into kind of a duel between Navarro and Durant, as both players led their teams – Navarro scored 14 and Durant dropped 12 points. USA won the first quarter 35-27.
Spain came storming out of the gate in the 2nd quarter, going on a 14-2 run, and taking a 39-37 lead as Serge Ibaka knocked down a 3-pointer. With USA struggling to score, Kevin Durant converted on an and-one, to regain the lead. Spain suffered a huge blow with 5:29 left in the quarter, as Marc Gasol picked up his 4th foul. At the end of the quarter Andre Iguadala turned the ball over, and committed a clear-path foul. USA went into half-time with a 59-58 lead.
Due to foul trouble, Marc Gasol remained on the bench for the whole of the 3rd quarter, and Serge Ibaka played extended minutes. Pau Gasol absolutely took over the game for Spain, as he scored the first 13 points for his team out of the break. The whole quarter was swinging back and forth, and Serge Ibaka tied the game at 80 a piece. Kevin Durant continued his surge, knocking down shots from everywhere, and USA finished the quarter with a minimal 83-82 lead.
LeBron James had to take a seat early in the quarter, as he scratched Pau Gasol near the eye, picking up his 4th foul. Durant remained unstoppable, hitting timely shots to keep Spain away. Spain managed to cut the USA lead to 6 points, but James returned to the court, making an amazing head-over-the-rim dunk, and hit a 3-pointer in the face of Marc Gasol. On the other end Pau Gasol committed an offensive foul, setting an illegal screen, and Spain lost all momentum. USA closed the game out and won by 7 points.
Kevin Durant went absolutely nuts today. In 38 minutes of play, Durant scored 30 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and drew 9 fouls. LeBron James was looking to distribute the ball more than anything, but still shot an efficient 8-13 from the field, scoring 19 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. The two leading stars also made history – James passed Michael Jordan as the 2nd most scoring player in Olympics. Durant broke the record for most points scored by a player in a single Olympics.
It might have been a tough game for team USA, but it really felt like they had the game under control at all times. Durant was simply unstoppable, and you could tell that Spain would eventually run out of energy in the 4th quarter. USA took 37 3-pointers, connecting on 41% of the attempts. Congratulations goes out to team USA for going 8-0 in the Olympics and retaining the gold.