The current world champion has been eliminated by the 'Team NBA' in the last five editions of the Games (quarterfinals in Athens-2004, finals in Bei
‘Team NBA’ beats Spain and Gasol says goodbye without a medal
The 41-year-old legend Pau Gasol, present in all these games, said goodbye playing six minutes and without scoring. Neither did his brother Marc, who played ten and also confirmed his international retirement.
“It is my last game with the national team for sure, but it will not mark 20 wonderful years,” said Pau.
“It is time to get off an attraction that we rode many years ago. It is time to let the new generation get on,” added Marc.
Without the contribution of the two emblems, Ricky Rubio returned to throw the team behind his back, with his international scoring record. He went to 38 points. Sergio Rodríguez (16) supported him in the direction and in the offensive contribution.
For the United States, their leader Kevin Durant, author of 29 points, did not miss.
“We have to continue being us. We have found our identity and understood how we need to play. And it was the perfect moment so I hope we keep this good streak going,” said the Brooklyn Nets forward.
– Ricky, in a state of grace –
Ricky Rubio was clear that fighting with the United States required the 20 average points that he had averaged during the tournament. And he almost doubled them.
He had set to work as soon as he started, putting a lot of pressure on True Holiday, the rival’s most consistent player. With baskets of all colors, the point guard went up to 13 points in the first quarter.
Fallona, the United States trusted everything to the unmatched talent of its troops, but Spain dominated the rebound and the substitutes responded, with two triples by Sergio Rodríguez and Willy Hernangómez dominating near the two rings, including three blocks.
The second unit, the players who did not make the headlines, allowed the world champion to take a 10-point lead in the second quarter.
But the North American team, very misguided from the triple (4/17 at halftime), raised the defensive level and Durant took the reins in attack to start the second half with a tie at 43.
– Durant, decisive –
Another three 3-pointers from Durant launched the Olympic champion, while Victor Claver missed two easy actions.
Spain was in trouble. It was difficult for him to score against a team that put a lot of physical pressure (9 steals for none midway through the third quarter) and that put 14 points ahead.
An agonizing Ricky held Spain in the game, while the Gasol brothers had no weight. Sergio Rodríguez, excellent off the bench, hit a triple and Spain was 6 behind (69-63) to the decisive quarter.
The world champion came with options. But another negative start, with several trays that came out, weighed down his comeback.
Ricky Rubio kept scoring but the NBA team had the game in their hands and Pau Gasol said goodbye to international basketball from the bench, without playing in the second half.