Harrison Barnes, USA Edge Past Spain in Semi-Final 82-76
Setting up for an entertaining semi-final, powerhouse’s USA and Spain faced off for a trip to the gold medal match in Rio.
After an easy game against Argentina to open up the knockout stage, Team USA looked to get back to their dominating ways as they headed into a semi-final match with fellow juggernaut Spain.
For Spain, it was a matter of staying the course as they had been on a four game winning streak in Rio after dropping the first two games in the group stage. After beating Lithuania by 50 points and then France by almost 30 in the first game of the knockout stage, they looked to be back to their normal selves going into Friday’s matchup with USA.
DeAndre Jordan got his second straight start over DeMarcus Cousins for Team USA as they looked to surround their scorers with his athletic defensive presence against Pau Gasol. But that didn’t stop Gasol as the big man had 12 of Spain’s 17 points at the end of the first quarter.
The first half was an interesting one to say the least as FIVE technicals were handed out; three for complaining, one on Spain’s coach, and one for delay of game. Kevin Durant and Cousins both finished the half with three personal fouls as USA led 45-39.
The second half was pretty much the same story as USA gradually pulled ahead, especially when Pau Gasol wasn’t on the court. DeMarcus Cousins fouling out in the third quarter was almost a blessing as it turned into the DeAndre Jordan show with his elite shot blocking and monstrous alley-oops.
Though Spain stayed in the game behind Gasol’s impressive performance and unique guard combinations, they simply didn’t have enough firepower to make a legitimate threat towards the end as USA won by six.
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For the Dallas Mavericks, it was another game in Rio where Harrison Barnes didn’t touch the court. DeMar DeRozan and Barnes both received zero minutes while Draymond Green only logged 1:48 minutes.
Klay Thompson led the way for USA with 22 points on 8/16 shooting. DeAndre Jordan logged 27 minutes where he put up an impressive stat line of 9 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks.
Pau Gasol led the way for Spain with 23 points and eight rebounds. After an impressive performance against France on Wednesday, Nikola Mirotic finished with just seven points and two made baskets against USA.
See full box score here.
Team USA faces off against the winner of Australia and Serbia on Sunday for the gold medal.