USA 109, Argentina 83
So, as it turns out, the US is really tough to beat.
Just as they did when these two teams played last week, Argentina hung around in the first half and looked like they could actually pull off the upset. But then, just like last time, Team USA’s sheer talent took over and that was that. It wasn’t quite as emphatic as last time, but still. They dominated the second half en route to an easy win and a gold medal berth.
But it won’t get any easier, because…well, now they get to face the Brothers Gasol.
Spain 67, Russia 59
Oh, Russia. I spend two weeks talking you up as a legit medal contender, and then you lay an egg in the semis. I mean, they can still prove me right by snagging a bronze, but still. Very disappointing.
Russia started off fine. After an ugly first half that saw just 51 points combined — for reference, Team USA scored 49 in the first quarter in their monster win over Nigeria — including a first quarter that ended with Russia up 12-9, things picked up in the second. Well, for Spain at least. Not so much for the Russians. Leading by 11 at the half, Russia watched helplessly as a late third quarter run tied the game going into the fourth. They retook the lead briefly, at 49-46, but Spain answered with a 15-2 run to take a commanding lead that Russia couldn’t make much of a dent in. Oddly, Spain made this run with Pau Gasol sitting on the bench.
So, after everything, we’re left with the Gold medal matchup we all thought we’d be getting. Spain vs. USA. The Spanish-American War II: Electric Boogaloo.