Spain Survives Great Britain in Men's Basketball
2012 London Summer Olympics
Jose Calderon sank two pressure-packed foul shots to help Spain survive a late charge by Great Britain en route to a 79-78 victory, ensuring a berth in the men's Olympic basketball medal round.
Calderon, who plays for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA, scored 19 points while Pau Gasol added 17 to give Spain its third victory in as many games and a spot in the quarterfinal round together with Russia. The British fell to 0-3 and are facing elimination.
Britain was spearheaded by Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng with 26 points while Joel Freeland added 25 points.
The Spaniards grabbed a 60-48 lead entering the fourth period and looked poised to score the easy win before Deng sparked a 9-2 run to close within 68-65, with three minutes left in the game.
Gasol, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, sank two foul shots while his brother Marc added one to give Spain a 71-65 cushion but Freeland buried a jumper and a lay-up to pull Britain within 71-69.
But Deng and Mensah-Bonsu committed back-to-back turnovers which Spain turned to four points for a 75-69 edge.
Dan Clark buried a three-pointer for Britain to cut Spain's edge to 75-72 while Calderon sank two free throws with 25 seconds remaining before Nate Reinking's three-pointer for Britain made it 77-75.
Calderon then sank two foul shots with 17 seconds remaining to make it 79-78 but Deng responded with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one. Calderon took the inbounds pass for Spain and wisely eluded British defenders until the final buzzer.
Spain and Russia lead Group B with identical 3-0 records and both are assured of seats in the medal round.
Like Spain, Russia survived a scare as it needed a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Vitaly Fridzon to beat Brazil, 75-74, for its third win in the competition.
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