Melo's Big First Half Sparks USA to Victory Over Spain
Carmelo Anthony came through with a big first half to steer Team USA to a 100-78 victory over Spain in a much anticipated tuneup game at the Palau Sant Jordi arena.
After their epic gold medal showdown four years ago in Beijing, USA and Spain met again on the hardcourt but this time without any medal at stake.
Nevertheless, it never lacked the action of a bitter rivalry match between two of the most dominant hoops powers in the world. Indeed, it was a competitive ballgame in the early goings until Melo and team USA went berserk in the succeeding minutes.
Anthony scored 23 of his 27 points in the first half while LeBron James added 25 points to fuel Team USA's offensive charge. The New York Knicks star was deadly from outside, hitting five treys in the first 20 minutes of play.
Spain used their height and size advantage early on by giving the ball inside to Pau Gasol (19 points) and Serge Ibaka (16 points).
Spain's bigmen guided them to a 22-13 lead with 1:30 minutes left in the first quarter but team USA's athleticism and efficient sniping were too much for the Spaniards to handle.
Using a 20-6 run in the second quarter, team USA gained steam and closed out the first half with a 48-40 cushion.
Oklahoma Thunders trio Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden took their high scoring act together in the second half as Team USA padded their lead to 69-48 with 4:19 left in the third.
Spain trimmed the deficit to 12 points in the following minutes but the Americans solidified the victory with another furious run.
Team USA finished their exhibition tour with a 5-0 record, though the lack of size and height appeared a major concern going into the Olympic Games.
USA is bracketed in Group A along with Argentina, France, Lithuania, Nigeria, and Tunisia. Spain, which will have additional help from Marc Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez, is pitted in Group B along with Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, and Russia.
Melo's Big First Half Sparks USA to Victory Over Spain
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