U.S. men's basketball team beats Spain in exhibition | Olympics
Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points and the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team beat Spain 100-78 in an exhibition that was a rematch of the 2008 gold-medal game.
BARCELONA, Spain — Gold medal at stake or nothing at all, the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team was bringing its best Tuesday.
Being back on the 1992 Dream Team's turf required it.
Carmelo Anthony came off the bench to score 23 of his 27 points in the first half, and the Americans beat Spain 100-78 in a rematch of the 2008 gold-medal game — and possible preview of the next one.
LeBron James added 25 points and ex-Sonic Kevin Durant had 13, including 10 in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to help the United States break open the teams' final exhibition game before heading to London.
The U.S. team, guided by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, improved to 5-0 in its exhibition tour. Since filling national-team rosters with NBA players in 1992, the Americans are 42-1 in exhibition games and have won 20 of them in a row.
"We knew that this was a big game," U.S. guard Chris Paul said. "When Coach K talked to us, he told us this was probably the biggest game here in Barcelona since the '92 (U.S.) team was here, so we approached it like that and it was a good win for us."
The teams played a memorable gold-medal game four years ago in Beijing, the Americans pulling away for a 118-107 victory after leading by four points with under 2 ½ minutes left.
This one turned out easier, as the U.S. controlled the final three quarters.
"It was a good test for us tonight, but the exhibition games are over, the friendlies are over and we look forward to the real challenge of going to London," James said.
Pau Gasol scored 19 points and Serge Ibaka, a native of the Republic of Congo who became a Spanish national last year, had 16.
Both teams have been weakened by injuries, with the U.S. squad missing Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, all key contributors in Beijing, along with Derrick Rose. The Spaniards are without point guard Ricky Rubio, plus All-Star center Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez have battled injuries this year.
They are viewed as the best two teams in the world and favored to meet again in the Aug. 12 gold-medal game. Spain would have a different look, as Marc Gasol was held out of this game while recovering from a left-shoulder injury and backup point guard Sergio Rodriguez also sat out.
"Well, it was definitely a game that we would have loved to play better as a team," Pau Gasol said. "We made too many mistakes which they capitalized and they played their game. They're a quick unit, very athletic and once they were able to convert a few fast-break opportunities due to our turnovers, it was hard for us."
• Brazil's starting goalkeeper, 22-year-old Rafael, has been ruled out of the men's Olympic squad after injuring his right elbow in a practice session Monday.
The Santos keeper was injured when he collided with a practice dummy as he reached for a ball crossed into the penalty area.