Mike Krzyzewski gets to ride off into the sunset from his Olympic coaching career, getting his second gold medal and finishing his career as Team USA’s coach with a 62-1 record.
The game was very reminiscent of the 2008 gold medal game. Spain came out playing better than they had all Olympics and trailed by just one point entering the fourth quarter.
Team USA came out great in the fourth though scoring seven quick points. Then LeBron James picked up his fourth foul, came out of the game and Spain remained within striking distance.
When LeBron came back in, he made a backbreaking 3-pointer over Marc Gasol in the same way Kobe Bryant made a huge three four years ago.
LeBron James caps off an amazing year for him that included an MVP, NBA title and now gold medal making him the first player since Michael Jordan in 1992 to do that.
Pau Gasol led Spain with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the game.
The U.S. made the plays they needed to down the stretch. It wasn’t the prettiest win. Each team committed 27 fouls in the game and Spain also battled foul trouble with Marc Gasol picking up four in the first half and sitting the entire third quarter.
The U.S. made 15-of-37 threes in the game while Spain wasn’t as good at 7-for-19. Team USA also held their own on the boards outrebounding Spain and getting 12 offensive rebounds.
With the win, the United States capture their 14th gold medal in Olympic basketball history.
Here are grades for all of the players:
LeBron James – 30 minutes, 19 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds – B+
It wasn’t LeBron’s best game but he came up big when Team USA needed him scoring five points in the final three minutes. The zone Spain mostly played limited what LeBron did on offense as less of Team USA’s offense ran through him. When he picked up his fourth foul late in the game and had to come out, it looked like Team USA might be in some trouble but they survived.
Kevin Durant – 38 minutes, 30 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist – A
Durant passed Spencer Haywood as the all-time U.S. leading scorer in a single Olympics in this game. Getting 30 from him was huge and very necessary for Team USA to pull out the win. By his standards he was a little off on his shot making 5-of-13 threes in the game. He was better scoring all around in this one and got to the line 10 times, making nine. His defense remained solid as well as he got many deflections and held his own down low.
Carmelo Anthony – 21 minutes, 8 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds – C+
Anthony was nothing special in this game making just 2-of-6 threes. He also got into foul trouble and with him not scoring much, Team USA became really dependant on Durant and Kobe to fill it up, which they did. Anthony was great rebounding on defense in the fourth quarter though while matched up with bigger players.
Kobe Bryant – 27 minutes, 17 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds – A
Kobe had been bad for a lot of these Olympics but really looked pretty good in the medal round, including this game. He hit some big shots early and late and shot a solid percentage. He had a few bad turnovers but luckily that didn’t cost the U.S. the game.
Chris Paul – 33 minutes, 11 points, 2 assists, 3 steals – B+
Paul was a little too passive in this game and could have looked for his shot a little more late. He still hit a big three in the third quarter and made a huge driving layup with 53 seconds left to put Team USA up 104-93.
Deron Williams – 10 minutes, 6 points, 1 assist – C+
Team USA could have used another player to step up and hit some outside shots. Williams made both of his 3-point attempts but didn’t do much else. He didn’t play as much as he had been either with the game pretty close in the second half.
Russell Westbrook – 9 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound – C+
Westbrook did not play at all in the second half and didn’t make much of an impact in the first half either. Westbrook is a great NBA player but his game didn’t translate too well in these Olympics within this team.
Kevin Love – 19 minutes, 9 points, 9 rebounds – B
Love’s rebounding was huge and he had three offensive boards but his post defense was basically nonexistent. He couldn’t contain the Gasol brothers really at all and that was a big reason why the game was close.
Tyson Chandler – 9 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound – C
Chandler hardly played again and didn’t even do a good job while he was in as Pau Gasol scored on him a few times. His impact was minimal.
Andre Iguodala – 2 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 turnover – C
Iguodala hardly played too. Even with LeBron in some foul trouble, Coach K went with Kobe playing more minutes instead of some Iguodala.
James Harden – 1 minute, 2 points – C
Harden came in with under a minute to play with the game pretty much in hand. He got fouled twice and went 2-for-4 from the line. Unacceptable.
Anthony Davis – 1 minute, 1 rebound – C
Davis pulled down the final rebound of the game. That has to count for something. Can’t wait to see him in Rio, and the NBA for that matter.
Topics: 2012 Olympics, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Gold Medal Game, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Mike Krzyzewski, Pau Gasol, Russell Westbrook, Spain, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball