LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony led USA Basketball to a 100-78 victory over Spain Tuesday afternoon as the United States improve to 5-0 in exhibition play in preparation for the London Olympics.
LeBron scored 25 points and hit three 3-pointers and Anthony scored 27 with 23 coming in the first half as he was hot from deep making five 3-pointers as well.
The U.S. had a big advantage shooting the three in this game going 13-for-23 while Spain struggled at just 5-for-19.
Kevin Durant got off to a slow start as the United States fell behind early while Spain pounded the ball inside. Durant would finish with 13 points in the game making just one 3-pointer coming off the Argentina game in which he made seven threes.
Russell Westbrook came off the bench to give Team USA a nice little spark with nine points.
Pau Gasol led Spain with 19 points in the game and Serge Ibaka scored all 16 of his points in the first half. Marc Gasol did not play for Spain as he is still nursing a banged up right shoulder.
The United States still stuck to their small lineups although they pretty much had to with Tyson Chandler fouling out in just seven minutes of action. LeBron does a good enough job denying post position but once Spain’s bigs had the ball down low, the interior defense for Team USA was no match.
Spain did what they wanted to in this one. They showed that Team USA was beatable early on then they rested their best guys for much of the remainder of the game as the United States ran away with it.
It’s not as if Team USA played their best players the entire game but they are so much deeper than even Spain that they were able to keep playing at a high level with their bench on the floor.
Spain players made it clear before this game that the result of this exhibition was meaningless and they’d gladly trade a Gold Medal in a few weeks for a loss today.
In 2008, Spain lost to the U.S. in the group play by 37 points and then in the Gold Medal game in Beijing they lost by just 11.
The United States wrap up their exhibition play with a perfect record but still some things to work on. The Olympics officially begin Friday, July 27 but Team USA won’t play its first game until Sunday against France.