Damian Lillard scored 19 points and Keldon Johnson added 15 to help the U.S. beat Spain 83-76 in the final pre-Olympic game for both teams
The two top-ranked team in the world struggled early on with Spain missing its first six shots before finally getting a basket 4:35 into the game.
Despite the slow start the Spaniards led 18-14 after one. They extended the lead to 38-36 at the half. Lillard and Durant each had 11 points at the half. The two combined to go 7 for 16 from the field while the rest of the U.S. squad was 5 of 19. Ricky Rubio had 14 points at the half for Spain.
Trailing 46-42 in the third quarter, the U.S. finally got going. The Americans scored the first 11 points during a 23-6 run that spanned the final two quarters. Johnson had eight points during the game-changing spurt. His dunk midway through the burst brought the crowd to life.
Spain only had one field goal in the final 5:44 of the quarter and was down 57-50 heading into the fourth quarter.
The U.S. kept the burst going to start the fourth and led 65-52 on Jayson Tatum’s reverse layup with 7:30 left. Spain could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Rubio finished with 23 points,
BACK WITH THE TEAM
Spain: The Spaniards open pool play against Japan on July 26.