USA Advances to Championship Game
The final score read 82-76, but the U.S. from start to finish controlled Friday’s contest.
After building a nine-point advantage in the first quarter, Team USA held off Spain’s numerous comeback attempts despite being outscored in the second and fourth periods.
Spain’s momentum reached its peak in the closing moments of the first half, where the team had cut its deficit to just six heading into the break.
In the third quarter, the U.S. was able to control the pace, rebuilding a comfortable double-digit lead that would remain until the final minutes of the closing frame.
A late Nikola Mirotic three pulled Spain within nine points, but a flurry of offensive fouls by the Spaniards minimized their final attempts to close the gap.
Klay Thompson led the way for the U.S. with 22 points (17 in the first half) on 8-of-16 from the field, while DeAndre Jordan put together an impressive stat line of nine points, four blocks and a USA single-game-record-tying 16 rebounds.
For the second straight contest, DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench and was the first reserve to check in for Team USA, but foul trouble prevented Cousins from making an impact similar to his 15-point outing on Wednesday.
In 10 minutes of action, Cousins picked up three first half fouls and eventually fouled out in the second half with two points and three rebounds.
The U.S. advances to the championship game for the third consecutive Olympic Games, where it will face Serbia, who Team USA defeated, 94-91, in the fourth game of preliminary play.
Tune-in to the final on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. PDT on NBCSN.