USA Olympic Basketball Team: Who Stepped Up for Team USA in Gold-Medal Game?

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIAugust 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Gold medallists Kevin Durant #5 of the United States and LeBron James #6 of the United States celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's Basketball on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As Team USA downed Spain 107-100 for the gold medal in Olympic basketball, there were a few guys who stepped up their performance when it mattered most.

With a gold medal and a perfect 13-0 run through the Olympics on the line, the U.S. faced its toughest test yet. Leading by just a single point heading into the fourth quarter, the Americans battled it out in London and won gold.

So who were the guys who played big when it mattered most?


Kobe Bryant

One of the most clutch players in NBA history, you had to expect Kobe to play well for his second gold medal. He came out and dropped 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting for Team USA.

Bryant was one of the top performers for the team, providing scoring a leadership over this team. While he isn't the alpha dog that he was in 2008, he still played a huge role toward winning the gold medal.

He's clutch.


LeBron James

After winning his first NBA Finals this year, LeBron James became the alpha dog that Kobe was in 2008. He was constantly among the team's top performers, and he played a lot of roles.

He even recorded the first triple-double in Olympic basketball history this year against Australia.

Seemingly, no matter what he did, he would succeed. And Sunday's gold medal game was no different.

James dropped 19 points with seven rebounds and four assists. He also played tight defense, coming away with two steals but doing an even better job of stopping his man.

While he did get into a bit of foul trouble and finished with four, he still played 30 minutes and had a huge impact on the game.


Kevin Durant

KD almost recorded a double-double in the final game.

He dropped a staggering 30 points against Spain, thanks in large part to his five threes and nine free throws.

He also grabbed nine rebounds in the game, helping battle Spain's bigs inside with his long, lanky frame.

Durant was aggressive during the entire game, and it paid off. His 30 points made him the top scorer for the U.S. in a single Olympics with 156 points.

The Durantula was incredible in this game, and he was the key to the team's victory.