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U.S. Men's Basketball Defeats Spain for Hard-Fought Gold in London

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The U.S. men's basketball team achieved its goal at the Summer Olympics in London on August 12 by winning the gold in a hard-fought final over a determined Spain, by a score of 107-100.

This was the second straight Olympic basketball title for the U.S. men, who are nearly undefeated in international competition since they won only bronze at the 2006 World Championships.

With Coach Mike Krzyzewski at the helm, the U.S. men are 62-1, with the only loss being to Greece in 2006.

The Americans have now won 14 Olympic golds in men's basketball, and the bitter disappointment of not winning the title in 2004 at the Athens Games is now a distant memory.

LeBron James, who was a member of the 2004 team that came away with only bronze, commented after the title game in London: "We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We didn't want it easy....We're a competitive team, and we love when it gets tight. That's when our will and determination kind of shows. It was the same way in '08."

Coach Krzyzewski, who has insisted this was his last game leading USA Basketball, said: "We know that we won a great basketball game today. They were really good, and I thought we were really good, and we had to be in order to win."

The contest, which took place at London's North Greenwich Arena, was a physical, see-saw battle throughout the 40 minutes of play. The outcome in favor of the U.S. was assured only in the last minute on the clock.

Kevin Durant led the Americans with 30 points, while James chipped in with 19 and played a superb all-around game.

For Spain, Pau Gasol was the leading scorer with 24 points, and teamed with his brother Marc to provide the Spaniards with some excellent play around the basket, while Juan Carlos Navarro added 21.

There will undoubtedly be significant turnover on Team USA's roster over the next four years leading up to the 2016 Olympics. The most important things for continued success are to fend off complacency and always remember that the U.S.-as was learned in 2004 and '06-must send its best to win at the World Championships and the Olympics.

Patrick Hattman covered the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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