This final between USA and Spain was the match that everyone expected and hoped for before the Olympics even began and it delivered. In the second closest Olympic final ever, the United States men’s basketball team was powered by Kevin Durant’s 30 points to win the game 107-100 and take home to gold medal. Spain was able to absorb some early foul trouble (Marc Gasol has four fouls in the first quarter and a half) and keep the game very close heading into the first half. The US weren’t able to force turnovers and do what they do best, run and gun all the way to the rim using their superior athleticism. Spain would not the US get into the game until late in the fourth quarter, too much Durant the entire game plus clutch contributions from Kobe, LeBron and Chris Paul. LeBron pulled up for a three, making the lead for USA 102-93 with just under two minutes left in the game and you could sense that this game was over. The final buzzer sounded and the entire US team celebrated pretty enthusiastically, everyone dancing around.
Although this United States men’s basketball team didn’t quite live up to the “Dream Team” expectations, they did achieve the goal that they set out before traveling to London and looked like they were really having fun doing so. Even after a slight scare against Lithuania (needing heroics from LeBron to edge them out) it was always evident that this team remained focused on the gold prize at the end of the road. The questions now begin as to how different this team will look for the next summer games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The only two certain omissions for that team so far are Kobe and Coach K. LeBron doesn’t know if he’ll back. It’s certain that the younger guys will be back and take advantage of a rare opportunity of winning multiple gold medals. That’s pretty far down the line so for now they can continue to celebrate knowing that they contributed to the United States’ overall success in London and making their country proud.
Final medal tally for London 2012
USA – 104 total medals (46 gold, 29 silver, 29 bronze)
China – 88 total medals (30 gold, 27 silver, 23 bronze)
Russia – 83 total medals (24 gold, 26 silver, 32 bronze)
Great Britain – 65 total medals (29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze)
Germany – 44 total medals (11 gold, 19 silver, 14 bronze)