LIVE BLOG: Team USA vs. Spain, Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Game

It’s come to this!  The closing event of the 2012 London Olympics has USA Team USA taking on Spain Spain for the Gold! Check out my Game Preview Here. I’ll live blog here throughout the game. Stay with me, but watch LIVE on NBC and enjoy a great match-up!

GAME UPDATES:

FINAL SCORE: USA 107 – SPAIN 100. USA WINS GOLD!!! USA!!!  American players have found stuffed animals somewhere on the court, and they’re celebrating like kids. Loving it. Just loving it.

12:01 – Hardin misses one again, USA only up 7. but Davis with the clinching rebound! TEAM USA WINS GOLD!!!

11:58 – USA is celebrating but a dumb foul, this game isn’t quite over yet. Spain back to seven points down.  20 seconds left, James Hardin best free throw shooter in the game and he gets the ball. Harden hits one. 13 seconds, USA only up six points. Why are they celebrating? Hardin gets fouled again, he missed one before.

11:57 – Unibrow coming in, Bryant and LBJ coming off, Coach K thinks he’s iced it here. And Coach K showing rare emotion, and I love it.

11:56 – 1 minute left, Navarro has gone cold. USA up 9 points but CP3 has an absolutely phenomenal reverse lay-in!

11:55 – Bron’s three misses, but Kobe goes all out out of bounds to save it, back to CP3 who misses at the shot clock, but that burned a handful of seconds. Clutch.

11:52 – BRON BRON!  FOR THREE!!! Pau Gasol fouls CP3! MOMENTUM SHIFT!

11:51 – 2:45 left, Bron Bron SLAMS it in! Eight point lead.

11:50 – Three and a half minutes left. USA making some subs here. Desperately needed that timeout, can’t call one until a dead ball and they finally get the chance. James, Paul, Kobe, Durant and Love on the floor. LeBron is on Marc Gasol – both have four fouls, so they can’t afford to be too physical. Durant tips the ball out, good defense, then comes up with a rebound. CP3 draws Llull’s foul.

11:47 – Kobe misses an open 3 with 5 minutes left. Durant grabs a defensive board, USA up 8. Kobe gets the offensive rebound and puts it in! Melo may be hurt though. Navarro makes a shot., Spain back to eight down. Spain playing tough tough defense, and Kobe turns the ball over. Rudy finishes Navarro’s miss. Melo is very hurt and throws the ball away, and he’ll come out, James coming in.

11:45 – Pau back in, misses a J, Love with the rebound. Carmelo misses an open shot himself though, and Pau drives and draws a foul. He’ll take two, make one.

11:43 – USA has Melo, Paul, Durant, Love and Kobe on the floor, six minutes left. Kobe fouled on a three attempt, gets three shots. Kobe hits two of three. USA up 8., 6 minutes left.

11:41 – Kobe misses a three, but great play by Melo to tip the rebound out to Paul. Durant finishes the series with a 3, now has 30 points! 156 points in this Olympics thus far, that’s the most all-time for an American at one Olympics.

11:39 – LeBron with his fourth foul, getting Pau in the face. Dangerous situation here, LeBron has been important late in the game. Marc Gasol comes into the game, Love in for James. Spain miss, Durant rebound, but misses the open 3.

11:38 – Rare miscue by Paul, missing LeBron on the pass. Needed that momentum point.

11:37 – Timeout, USA up by six.

11:36 – Paul with another three! Yes he can score!  And he follows that up after a Spain miss with a beautiful shot, five points in a matter of seconds. Rudy Fernandez barrels into Paul to stop a third run, foul called.

11:35 – Start of Fourth Quarter, Paul, James, Durant, Bryant and Melo on the floor for USA. LeBron puts in the layup.

11:32 – END OF THIRD QUARTER, USA up one point 83-82.

11:30 – Iguodala in the game to spell LeBron and spare him some fouls. He fouls Spain to prevent an easy basket, good defensive play. Deron, Durant, Melo, Andre and Bryant in the game for USA.

11:28 – Durant hits an open three after Spain ties it. USA 83, Spain 80. Melo misses a three, both teams have missed last possessions.

11:27 – NBC CUTS TO A COMMERCIAL DURING GAME ACTION. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. We just barely get back in time to see a Durant three, but Gasol answers and Spain is down two.

11:24 – Durant creates a shot, off-balance jumper falls and USA builds a three point lead. Kobe steals and draws a foul under the basket. Kobe, not LeBron, is taking over this game.

11:22 – The Lake Show here in London – Kobe drains a pretty three. USA up two, Love gets the offensive board but Kobe misses a three. James picks up his third foul on the other end on Ibaka, who hits one of two.

11:21 – KOBE DRIVES AND SLAMS! Calderon helpless. USA ties it at 68, then gets the steal. CP3 LOBS TO LEBRON!!!  BEAUTIFUL! That’s what we like to see, USA bringing back the power game. Gasol does hit a shot on the foul though and has a free throw to take the lead…good.

11:19 – LeBron one-on-one with Ibaka, the finger roll! Need to see more penetration like that from the King to open up the perimeter. Love knocks the ball out of Pau’s hands but gets called for the foul. I just don’t see why they called that.

11:19 – Why is Tyson Chandler guarding Jose Calderon? Mismatch, luckily Spain doesn’t get any points just yet. Love in for Chandler and immediately rebounds Navarro’s miss but misses his own three. He can actually hit those though. Gasol is dominating this game right now and works around Love for the lay-in.

11:18 – Questionable shot by James, Spain recovers and Pau slams it in for the lead. USA needs to be better at shot selection.

11:17 – There’s Pau Gasol drawing more fouls, though I question the actual contact, but it’s Chandler with the foul. With Love on the bench, we need Chandler to stay in this game. Spain down 1.

11:16 – USA hits two free throws, up four on Spain.

11:15 – CP3 for Three…WOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOOO!!!!!!!!! WOO!!!!!!!!  Pau follows with a hook shot.

11:13 – START OF SECOND HALF – USA puts all five starters back on the floor, but Marc Gasol not in for Spain.

Switching updates to the top of the blog so when you refresh, you’ll see the latest updates!  Future live blogs, I’ll work to do it in this format, or incorporate a widget or plugin that does this automatically for me.

HALFTIME – USA 59, Spain 58

Halftime reactions:  USA has got to work on perimeter defense. Navarro is too clutch for our own good, and Fernandez is also capable of putting up points. USA is in good position size wise with Marc Gasol in foul trouble very early, but USA also has fouls of its own to consider, with Melo and Deron Williams having three each. Westbrook has been shaky, so Paul and even LeBron should take the point. Kevin Love has been great under the basket, his strong play must continue to ensure USA gets more scoring opportunities. Durant has been somewhat shaky as well, though he’s scored points, but he needs to hit those threes he’s taking.

Team USA has been close with several opponents in this tournament at the half, including Argentina, but generally pulls away late. If they can make adjustments out of the half, that could continue, but Spain is playing at a level they haven’t seen yet.

STARTING FIVE:

Spain SPAIN

C – Marc Gasol
F – Pau Gasol
F – Rudy Fernandez
G – Jose Calderon
G – Juan Carlos Navarro

USA TEAM USA

C – Tyson Chandler
F –  Kevin Durant
F – LeBron James
G – Kobe Bryant
G – Chris Paul

10:06 a.m.: Tyson Chandler challenges in the paint early and gives Team USA the initial lead. But Navarro hits a three pointer and draws the foul for the 4-point play. Durant answers with a three to retake the lead.

10:07 a.m.: Chandler playing cautiously here and Team USA is not double teaming the Gasols early, and Pau sinks a FG. James penetrates on the next series and takes a shot but misses, gets his own board and Durant ends up finishing on his own miss. Watch for the Americans on the offensive glass, they’ve been great thus far.

10:09:  Boy, maybe we were wrong about Navarro not being a scoring threat. Different games call for different strategies. He sinks already his second three from the perimeter. He’ll have to be reckoned with. But we have Durant, and he answers with another 3 of his own.

10:10: Buuuttt…Navarro is back. Spain gets two second chances and Navarro hits another 3. USA sloppy in the paint. Bryant hits a beautiful fadeaway three over Pau defending him. A little Lakers drama in London?

10:11 Durant draws what’s called an “unsportsmanlike foul” – essentially an Olympics technical foul. This game is going to get physical and chippy. USA will take two free throws and keep possession. Melo checks into the game for Chandler as USA decides to go smaller.

10:13 Just raining threes. Navarro hits another three, sandwiched between treys by Bryant and Melo. Spain is forcing the defensive emphasis to the outside.

10:15 Bron Bron playing some D, then facilitating the passing that culminates with an Anthony dribble and pull up J. Melo answers on the next possession after a Spain miss with another 3. Melo is scoring early and that’s important.

10:16 – CP3 and Deron Williams on court at the same time, USA needs to answer Navarro. CP3 on Navarro, but he still manages to drive and take a good shot, though it misses. Ibaka in the game for Spain, giving them a clear and menacing size advantage.

10:18 – Kevin Love in the game and factoring immediately with an offensive rebound. Russell Westbrook also into the game, and apparently he’s feeling okay after rolling his ankle in the semis against Argentina.

10:20 – Deron can hit threes, too! Spain keeping it close though, and Ibaka is a good size against Love, grabbing the board and draws a foul. Spain only down by seven points.

10:21 – Deron dishes to Love at the post and he puts it in for a 9 point lead, Spain timeout. USA 30 – Spain 21.

10:24 – USA has Westbrook, Durant, Love, Deron and Melo on the court and Spain was putting on a bit of a run, but Durant drains a three and that’s his 12th point in the first quarter alone. Deron takes a seat for Paul. Really sweet alley-oop finish by Rudy.

10:26 – AWESOME defense by Durant, breaking up a fast-break counterattack by Spain and then blocking a buzzer 3 shot by Pau Gasol to close the first quarter.

END OF 1st:  USA 35, Spain 27.

10:28 – USA keeps Melo, Durant, Love, Westbrook and Paul on the court. Rudy hits an open three to start the quarter and pull Spain within five. Rudy will score if he’s left open.

10:30 – Melo to the bench with two early fouls. Kobe and LeBron back in the game for USA. Melo needs to be careful, we need his threes. CP3 also has two fouls. Spain has drawn the most fouls in this tournament. Spain within one.

10:32 – There’s LeBron, driving and finishing past Ibaka. He may orchestrate the change of pace we need. Chandler is in the game but gives up a floater to Marc. CP3 and Chandler shoot for that patented Hornets alley-oop that we all miss in New Orleans, but it goes out of bounds. Spain has momentum.

10:33 – Spain’s Sergio Rodriguez hits a three after multiple passes and Ibaka is stuffed under the basket. Spain takes a two-point lead, 39-37. Chandler part of a double-T foul and sits for Love, who does what he does best on the offensive glass and finishes to tie at 39. Durant then with the steal and misses on the finish, but gets to the charity stripe. USA needs to hit all its free throws because they will not match Spain’s fouls drawn with a perimeter-heavy game.

10:35 – Durant hits both, pulls ahead 41-39. Spain quickly answers with an open 3 by Llull while Love has a foul under the basket, so Spain retains possession but then turns it over. Ibaka now sits with two fouls. LeBron to the stripe, and he hits two of two.

10:38 – Timeout, 6:24 left in the half. Spain leads by one. NBC says LeBron just passed Michael Jordan for the all-time lead in Olympic scoring. What an epic year he’s having – Finals MVP, NBA MVP, NBA Champ. Olympic champ?

10:39 – Durant hits the pull up AND one as Marc rotates over to defend, too late. Durant hits the free throw.

10:40 – Marc Gasol fouls Love attempting to get the offensive rebound. Marc has four fouls already and that’s huge for USA. Love is a master at boxing out opposing bigs. Durant missed an open three and while he has 17 points, he needs to be hitting the shots he’s given.

10:45 – Navarro finally misses a three, and Love draws another foul by Felipe Reyes. Love may be the linchpin to victory for USA. Both teams were shooting 52 percent from the floor before that miss. Love hits both, then takes a seat. USA goes with Melo, Durant, LeBron, Westbrook and and Deron, up three after Spain hits a triple.

10:45 – LeBron dukes Gasol into defending a three, then pulls in and pulls up for a beautiful shot. Spain misses and Navarro fouls Russell Westbrook, who makes one of two.

10:48 – Reyes fouls. Right now with Love and Chandler sitting, we have LeBron playing center. Amazing to watch this guy. Also amazing to see some of those Spanish fans in the seats, as NBC has been giving us plenty of zoom-in shots of. Bron gets a second chance on Anthony’s miss and finishes, USA up 6. And then LeBron gets the defensive rebound. Doing it all.

10:49 – Pau takes LeBron one-on-one and wins the battle, then Spain finishes off the attack. Sign of NBA Finals battles to come with the Lakers getting Dwight Howard? But there’s Deron with a three, yes he can hit them too! Spain down 7. James takes a seat, shooting 60% from the field.

10:51 – Deron fouls Rudy, and Spain will take shots as they’re in the bonus, that’s his third. Williams sits for Paul, which will allow Westbrook to focus on shots. He does but misses an open three, but there’s Love again under the basket, and he’ll go the line. Serge Ibaka comes back in the game. Love hits one.

10:53 – Gasol’s shot is short but Spain gets free throws after a foul on Anthony, his third. Ibaka is the one shooting them though, but he does hit both. Doug Collins on NBC isn’t happy with the frequency of these touch foul calls.

10:55 – Paul takes a chance beyond the arc but misses, and Spain misses to follow. Iguodala called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Fernandez. Rudy hits both and Spain gets the ball to close the half.

10:58 – Navarro has been an incredible force, scoring 19 points in this half, but can’t get a shot off as the buzzer ends. Team USA up 59-58.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s