US beat Spain 86-85 in warmup game for world basketball championship
by Kimberly on Monday, August 23, 2010
Did you catch the game yesterday night the 22 of August? It was a warmup game for the world basketball championship between the two favorites: USA and Spain which took place in La Caja Magica Stadium in Madrid. Well, last night in Spain at least - probably yesterday during the day for most of you. :)
Defending world champion, Spain, lost its first match in nine games by the skin of their chinny-chin-chin. The game was a REALLY close one, ending in a 86-85 win in favor of the US team who recently changed most of its roster.
Tradtionally, basketball has not had a very large following in Spain. However, ever since players like Pau Gasol and his brother Marc Gasol have gained international fame in the NBA, the game has been gaining more and more following. Also, Spain winning the last World Championship tournament also helped gain momentum of this exciting sport. Learn more about Spanish Sports.
The U.S. travels to Athens on Monday to play Greece in its final warmup match ahead of the world championships. The world championships will be held from August 28 to September 12 in Turkey.
Recap of the intense game from e!tb.com Sports:
Kevin Durant scored 25 points and made two crucial late blocks as the United States hung on for an 86-85 victory over Spain
Juan Carlos Navarro scored 20 points and Derrick Rose 13 in the first match between the teams since the Americans won the 2008 Olympic final.
Kevin Durant's dunk off a turnover - his third straight basket - gave the Americans an 8-0 lead, midway through the first quarter.
Derrick Rose knocked down a 3 pointer to extend USA's lead to 16-3 with four minutes left in the opening quarter
USA led 23-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Chauncey Billups fed Lamar Odom underneath for a slam to to put the Americans on top 30-20 with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter.
USA led 45-33 at the end of the half.
That lead was extended when Durant launched in a three pointer to give the Americans a 55-47 advantage, midway through the third quarter. Durant would go to top score in the match with 25 points.
USA led 69-58 at the end of the third.
Spain went on a run to close the gap in the final quarter of play. Juan Carlos Navarro found Marc Gasol for an easy basket to cut the deficit to 76-72, with four and half minutes left.
Spain's Ricky Rubio hit a jumper from the free throw line to make it a two point game, with three suspense filled minutes remaining.
With less than two minutes left, Spain took their first lead of the game 82-80 on Felipe Reyes' layup off a pass from Rubio.
Rose dropped in a layup over Gasol with 33 seconds left to move the Americans back in front 84-82. Rose scored 13 points for USA.
Navarro answered with a three point play to put Spain back on top 85-84 with 27 seconds left in regulation. Navarro scored 20 points in the contest.
After Rose put the Americans ahead with two free throws, Durant blocked shots from Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez as time expired to seal USA's 86-85 win over Spain.