Team USA Basketball Wins Gold Medal in Beijing 2008: Team USA waited 4 long years for this one day. A day that would not only give them a chance to redeem themselves as individuals, but more so, a moment in time to place their country in the highest regards in the basketball universe. Spain proved to be more than a worthy opponent against this team of NBA superstars, as they fought hard to the very last seconds of the game. The Spaniards certainly earned the respect of the United States players, as well as fans all over the world. In the end, the better team prevailed, but it was far from what everyone expected it to be. Team USA Basketball Wins Gold Medal in Beijing 2008, by defeating Spain by a final score of 118-107. At SportsBook.com, Team USA Basketball was an overwhelming -21.5 betting odds favorite in the Beijing 2008 Men’s Basketball Gold Medal game against Spain (+21.5).
Both teams combined for a total of 225 points, thus satisfying the initial OVER/UNDER which had been set at a total of 180.5 points. Team USA Basketball Wins Gold Medal in Beijing 2008
At the start of this game, both teams came out with high energy, running up and down the court, and playing hard-nose defense. For the United States, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant picked up two quick first quarter fouls, and were forced to sit. Spain took full advantage of that, as they took an early 5-point first quarter lead.
However, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul came in from the bench, and helped stabilize things for the Americans. With precision passing by Paul, and electric drives to the hoop by Wade, the United States regained the lead with a 14-3 run. At the end of the first quarter, Team USA reestablished order, as they lead 38-31.
After the highest scoring quarter for the US (38 points), LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were right back on the floor. The “Black Mamba” opened the quarter with a long 3-pointer, followed by a thunderous jam off a fast break, pushing USA’s lead to 12 points (43-31). With Spain creeping back into the game, a half court alley-hoop pass from CP3 (Chris Paul) to KB24 (Kobe Bryant) electrified the crowd and pushed Team USA’s lead back to 10 points.
Nevertheless, Spain did exactly what they needed to do after two quarters, as they hung in there and avoided getting blown out early. At the half, the United States led Spain by a score of 69-61. Here are the halftime stats for both teams: Field goals: USA (22-34), Spain (19-31); 3-pointers: USA (8-14), Spain (5-8); Free throws: USA (17-20), Spain (18-21); Steals: USA 7, Spain 3; Turnovers: USA 6, Spain 10.
In the third quarter, Team USA started with 3 consecutive turnovers, which allowed Spain to close within 4 points (67-71). With every basket the Americans scored, the Spaniards had an answer for. After 2 quarters and a half, it was clear that Team USA was playing their worse team defense of the tournament, as Spain seemed to score at almost at will. At the end of the quarter, USA was able to make a run on Spain, but Juan Carlos Navarro was able to beat the buzzer to keep it close (91-82).
The final stanza began much like the rest of the game, with the USA playing to the level of the competition, and Spain responding well to the challenge. Back-to-back big shots by Kobe and Deron Williams gave the Americans a little bit of breathing room (96-89). Spain responded right away with a corner 3, but so did Kobe with his trifecta.
Trailing by 11, Spain would not quit, as Rudy Fernandez posterized Dwight Howard with monstrous dunk and an and-1, to bring them back to within single digits. With Spain dangerously close (5 points), Kobe Bryant showed dazzled the crowd with a 4-point play. Once again, with 2:22 to play, Spain cut the American's lead to just 4, before D-Wade hit a wide open 3-pointer, which drew an immediate timeout.
With 1 minute remaining in the game, chants of USA! USA! began raining down on the Americans. In the end, when Spain closed the lead to just a basket, Kobe Bryant and showed why he is the reigning NBA MVP as he took over the game, scoring 14 points in the final minutes. The United States of America reclaimed basketball glory, and broght back the Gold Medal to where it belongs. What a great game, and what a terrific ending to this long learning process the USA players underwent to become worthy Olympic Gold Medallists.
Dwayne Wade led the way with 27 points, Kobe Bryant added 20 (mostly in crunch time), LeBron James pitched in with 14, and Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony had 13 apiece.
Written by Abe Luciano