Published August 10, 2012
Through one half of play, it looked like Spain was dead in the water against Russia in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament. Russia's defense was frustrating them, and they hit just six field goals in the first half. But all that changed in the second half, as they caught fire from three-point range to rally for a 67-59 win and a berth in the gold-medal game.
Russia led by 11 at halftime, but Spain started to rally in the third quarter, outscoring Russia, 26-15, to pull even heading into the fourth. Russia held off their early surge, but Spain went into the lead with 7:21 remaining on a three-pointer by Jose Calderon. That proved to be the surge they needed, as they ended up going on a 14-1 run to take control of the game.
Pau Gasol was the catalyst for Spain, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while leading the comeback. Calderon had 14 points, including 4-9 from downtown, and he was especially good in the second half. Sasha Kaun had 14 to lead Russia.
Spain will now advance to the gold-medal game on Sunday at 10 a.m. EST, where they could meet Team USA in a rematch of the Beijing gold-medal game. Russia will square off against the loser of the Team USA-Argentina semifinal in the bronze-medal game on Sunday.