Team USA beat Spain 86-85 on Sunday, as Kevin Durant came up huge. Team USA was playing Spain in a tune-up game for the 2010 Basketball World Championships, and they proved to be up to the task. It was a hard-fought game, though, and it was not lost that this Spanish team is the defending World Champions of basketball. The FIBA World Championships are played every four years, and it was back in 2006 that Spain won the title. The United States then took home the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, but Spain is still the defending champions on the world level.
The United States is now looking for their first FIBA title since 1994, when they beat Russia soundly in Canada. Now they will head to Turkey, where they will play their first game of the 2010 FIBA World Championships on Aug. 28 against Croatia. In order to get the team ready for the grueling tournament format, Team USA has been taking on many teams around the world on their way to Turkey. That is where the Sunday game against Spain came in to play, as both countries wanted to feel each other out before they take to the big stage next week.
The United States vs. Spain game had just about anything a basketball fan could want, with a number of flashy plays, some great defense, and a game that wasn’t decided until the final two minutes. With the game tied up at 82 with just two minutes to go, it looked like either team could take the win this time around. Spain even had the ball, but was unable to connect, and the United States took it down and scored on a nice shot by Kevin Durant.
With 15 seconds to go, the United States was up by one point, but Spain had the ball with the chance to win. After missing an early attempt, Spain had one last shot to try to win it, but Durant played great defense on the shooter, and blocked the shot to win the game. Durant registered blocks on both Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez in that last 15-second stanza to seal the win.
There were moments during the USA vs. Spain game where is seemed that Team USA was having a hard time getting their offense going, but, when it counted the most, the team came through with flying colors. It’s not supposed to be easy to beat the defending world champions, and this team from Spain looks as talented as ever. It is clear that we could be looking at a United States vs. Spain final at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.