LONDON (CBS SPORTS) – Great for most of the Olympics, then just good enough for gold.
The U.S. men’s basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory Sunday that gave the Americans their second straight gold medal.
And just like 2008, they had to work for this one.
LeBron James capped off one of basketball’s most brilliant individual years with a monster dunk and a huge 3-pointer in the final 2:50, helping the Americans win the competitive game that few would have seen coming after they had been so dominant for so long in London.
Yet four years after beating Spain 118-107 in a classic in Beijing, the Americans found themselves in another tight one, unable to ever really slow the Spanish down until the closing minutes.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points and James had 19 on a day he joined Michael Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold.