Team USA defeat Spain 82-76 to qualify for the gold medal game

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The United States men's basketball team progressed through to the gold medal game last night as they crept past Spain 82-76 in the semi-final of the Rio Olympics.

Klay Thompson led the scoring with 22 points and he was helped by Kyrie Irving's 13 points and Kevin Durant's 14.

It wasn't the prettiest affair for Team USA, and Spain were considered one of the prime candidates to expose the flaws in their game. Although the Americans have a ton of talent on their roster, many analysts have suggested that they have too many ball-dominant players.

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Coach Mike Krzyzewski got things right, however, by giving DeAndre Jordan - who had 16 boards - over 27 minutes on the floor and keeping a strong backcourt of Irving and Thompson for the majority.

Team USA will now go on to face Serbia for the gold medal on Sunday evening, while Spain have to battle Australia for the bronze.

Spanish stalwart and San Antonio Spurs man, Pau Gasol, believes they threw away their best opportunity to defeat the almighty Americans, who are vying for their third straight Olympic gold medal.

"They are not playing as well as other times they've played, but they are still a very talented team individually,'' Gasol said. "I just (feel) like if we had been a little sharper with our shots, if we would have moved the ball a little better, if we would have boxed out more, and make it a two- or three-possession game, then you're talking about a whole different story.''

Gasol was the game's top scorer with 23 points, but it wasn't enough to break down the most vulnerable American team in years. It was the lowest-scoring game for the U.S team in the Olympics since the 2004 semi-finals and they will have to pick it up against a Serbian outfit that only lost to them by three points in the pools.

Team USA Olympics
Pau Gasol
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference

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