With the Spaniards cruising to an early lead, Carmelo Anthony played the fireman’s role as he erupted for 23 of his 27 points to give the Americans control of the game after a very rough start.
“Today was one of those games that as a team, as a unit, we really tried to lock in from the start,” Anthony said. “I think we came out a little bit too focused, a little bit overzealous at the beginning and they jumped on us quick. Once we settled down and made a couple plays defensively, got back to our comfort zone, we didn’t look back from there.”
Taking advantage of their size advantage, Spain had a fluid inside-outside attack to build a 22-13 lead before the end of the first period, but USA started to find their groove.
With the momentum on their side, the American quickly turned the game around and led by as much as 13 points in the second quarter before ending the half with an eight-point advantage.
The halftime break did not cool Team USA down as they came out firing on all cylinders and never looked back for the rest of the way to score a convincing win after a head-earned 86-80 win over Argentina on Sunday night.
LeBron James also had a dominating performance as he finished with 25 points and seven assists, while Kevin Durant added 13 points and eight rebounds for Team USA, who showed improving chemistry and cohesiveness despite a short period of preparation.
“We still got a couple more days before we actually open up but our chemistry is really good right now,” James said. “Our cohesiveness is improving. We’ll be ready once the games begin.”
Pau Gasol, on the other hand, had 19 points, while Serge Ibaka added 16 points in a losing effort for Spain, who played without Marc Gasol.