Forward Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points as the U.S. men’s basketball team won its second straight Olympic gold medal, beating Spain, 107-100 on Aug. 12 during the 2012 Summer Games in London.
The U.S. had to fight hard for the gold as Spain challenged them through the first three quarters. Spain had a clear size advantage in the paint with the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, both over seven feet tall.
Pau Gasol was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring at will in the lost post. He finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists. His younger brother, Marc, scored 17 points off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting in the paint.
Spain’s guards also shot well on the outside as Juan Carlos Navarro made 4-of-9 three-pointers on his way to a 21-point performance. Spanish forward Rudy Fernandez added 14 points from the outside.
With Spain shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, the U.S. was only able to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. But the Americans held off the Spaniards down the stretch to capture the gold.
The U.S. leaned on forward LeBron James late in the fourth quarter as he scored five of his 19 total points during the final minutes of the game, including one huge three-pointer shot over the finger-tips of Marc Gasol that gave the Americans a comfortable nine-point lead. He finished with seven rebounds and three assists.
James now joins Michael Jordan as the only players to ever earn an NBA MVP award, an NBA Finals MVP and an Olympic gold medal all in the same calendar year.
Spain took the silver medal, while Russia claimed the bronze medal after beating Argentina for third place.