The United States defeats Spain 118-107 to take the men's basketball gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games on Sunday. [Xinhua]
Gasol scored twice inside paint to make it 104-99 with 3:30 minutes to go, but Spain received a big blow when Fernandez was fouled out and gave Bryant a bonus chance of four-point play.
Navarro erupted as a substitute and made a running layup before Carlos Jimenze's 3-pointer to close it again on 108-104 with 2:24 minutes to go.
Wade's quick 3-pointer silenced Spain's supporters in the over-paced Wukesong Indoor Stadium and Bryant drilled in a running basket on 113-105 with 1:11 minutes left. Jimenez missed a 3-pointer on the following possession and the game was out of the touch for Spain.
"I'm proud of my players. They never gave up. We had a chance to win even in the last three minutes," Spain coach Aito Garcia said. "Today we saw a stronger American team with more willingness to win, which we haven't seen for long time."
"I feel good with the game and my team though we lost it. We fought hard all the way to the final minute. D-Wade had some big plays and Kobe's too. The U.S. improved a lot. They wanted to be back to the top and they did it," Gasol said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2008)