In the semi-finals, Spain eliminated a powerful Russia 67-59 in a memorable second half. In the other semifinal, the United States clearly beat Argentina 109-83. The final is repeated four years later. In the fight for bronze, in a vibrant match that was not decided until the final seconds, Russia won 81-77 and took the metal.
Spain is once again proving to the United States and the world that it is a team of legend. Only the success of Durant and the tiredness of the Spaniards was able to decant the balance (107-100). The national team has once again won a silver medal with a taste of gold in the last match of an unrepeatable generation.
Spain returned to participate in a great game. From beginning to end. It was a spectacle of an Olympic final between the two best teams in the universe. Like a replica of the Beijing final, the team forced the United States to give its best to wear gold that could have ended in another neck (107-100). The Spaniards will not have that medal, but glory is not taken away.
Some things are not measured by medals or cups, but go beyond the material. Watch Navarro play, for example. He uncorked the match with a triple plus additional foul that anticipates that Spain was there to fight. There was no worthwhile fasciitis, no back pain, no ankle problems, just a huge talent that had been hidden during the tournament. But D day, at H time, came back. The escort made 10 points in four minutes to feed the Spanish dream (7-12). The Americans didn’t seem to know him.
Durant first and Melo then gave the answer in the United States. Taking advantage of the zone in which Spain was planted during the first quarter, they discharged an extraordinary battery of three pointers (7/10 in the first 10 minutes) from the corners that provoked the first escape of the Dream Team (25-16, min 7). Rudy’s awakening prevented the distance from being greater in the first break. Only eight points (35-27). Spain had saved the first critical situation.
And not only that. It was rebuilt to perfection and started the second quarter with a partial of 0-7 to the rhythm of Sergio. The base was felt in its sauce between the players. In less than four minutes had already given four assists. If it was not enough, a triple of his closed a partial 2-14 with which he put ahead of Spain (37-39). The United States had finished the vein of three pointers and added three baskets in play in five minutes.
His production came through free throws. Spain was punished excessively when it carried the offensive rebound. Marc went to the bench with four fouls after 15 minutes and Felipe committed three in one go. Some flash of Navarro, who went 19 points at half-time and Rudy’s free kicks kept the game in a fist (59-58). The game was reminiscent of the final in Beijing four years ago. Then, Spain went to the dressing room eight down (69-61).
The third quarter was the exclusive property of Pau. Until that moment, before the defensive hardness of LeBron had not seen hoop easily and was dedicated to assist (five at half time), but in the restart made a break to Love. He scored Spain’s first 13 points in a movement clinic. The selection went ahead again in full ecstasy ballooncestístico pivot (64-67). Kobe, stung, endured the pull with seven points in a row. The Spaniard had won the particular duel, but the United States had regained control, although the scoreboard was still on the edge for the last quarter (83-82).
With Spain at the limit of physical endurance, Pau and Navarro took a break. Paul used it to give air to the United States (90-84). The American defence was choking on the national team, and it was becoming more and more intense. This gave birth to a 14-5 partial that left Spain on the edge of the precipice (97-87). LeBron gave him the final push. First a mate and then a hat-trick with Marc Gasol ended the Spanish hopes (102-93 two minutes from the end). The last pulse of the selection was a triple failed Navarro to 1:15 of the end. If I had entered… As it would have entered the triple of Jiménez four years ago… Spain died with all honors. He took the silver because in the Games you can’t give two golds.