Brazil downs Spain to open Olympics account
Game 2 of Group B in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games got underway on Tuesday, with hosts Brazil outlasting Spain 66-65 early in the day. It was a first victory for the Brazilians and puts the country on track in a tournament where it is expected to do well with the home floor.
Spain is also predicted to do well, as it is in every Olympic tournament. However, the Spanish are now 0-2 and without a win and may be wondering if this is an ill-fated trip to South America. In both contest Spain has been broken by the narrowest of margins, by two points at the hands of Croatia on Sunday, and now by a single point today.
While Spain needs to start winning, Brazil will now feel more at ease. After losing game one to Lithuania, the Samba men have got the monkey off their back and can now pursue top spot in Group B.
Brazil vs. Spain, 66-65
A testing opening quarter showed both teams struggling with nerves. This was a big early game in the Olympic tournament with both sets of players thinking a win was needed. Brazil slowly gained confidence and finished the first term leading 18-13. The second frame followed in a similar vein, but Spain used a 16-18 winning period to make it a three point game. At the midway rest the scoreboard read 34-31 to Brazil.
The hosts still had the momentum though and in the third act managed to extend its advantage with a solid quarter. Through thirty minutes the home fans were dancing to the tune of a 53-45 advantage. Spain finally started clicking in offence during the fourth quarter, and a Sergio Llull triple handed the European the lead with a minute to play. However, with second remaining Marquinhos Vieira tipped in to break Spanish hearts. The visitors could not recover with a bucket in the final play.
Marcelinho Huertas paced the win with 11 points, followed by Marquinhos Vieira with 10 points.
Pau Gasol took the only double-double of the game with 13 points and 10 boards, while Sergio Llull added 11 points in the losing effort.
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