Spain men beat China 97-81 in Olympic basketball
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Spain to a 97-81 victory over China Sunday in the Olympic men's basketball opener for both teams Sunday.
Spain got off to a slow start and held just a two-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 19-17. However, they went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter to give themselves a cushion and were never seriously challenged the rest of the game.
Spain was silver medalist at the Beijing Games four years ago and is the two-time European champion. They are expected to challenge for a gold medal here with their imposing front line of the 7-foot Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), his 7-1 brother Marc (Memphis Grizzlies) and 6-10 Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder) - who finished with 17 points.
Yi Jianlian of the Washington Wizards had a double-double for China, scoring a game-high 30 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.
But China had no answer to the depth of Spain, which had four players score in double digits - Juan Carlos Navarro had scored 14 points and Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors) added 12.