BEIJING (AP) — Order is restored in international basketball. The United States is back on top, but not without a fight.
Culminating a three-year mission to end years of embarrassment, the U.S. Olympic team survived a huge challenge from Spain, winning 118-107 Sunday in the gold-medal game.
After overwhelming everyone for seven games, the Americans led by only four points with under 2½ minutes to play. Then the U.S. proved it could handle a close game that seemed would never come in Beijing.
Their prize: the first U.S. gold medal since the 2000 Olympics.
Dwyane Wade scored 27 points for the Americans, who found a much gamer Spanish team than the one it humiliated by 37 points earlier in the tournament. Kobe Bryant added 20 points.