Olympics: NBA’s Gasol, Ibaka lead Spain over China
LONDON—Los Angeles Lakers NBA star Pau Gasol scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, sparking 2008 Olympic silver medallist Spain over China 97-81 on Sunday in a Group B round-robin Olympic basketball opener.
Serge Ibaka, another NBA standout on a team filled with such talent, added 17 points as the Spaniards ripped a Chinese team that had pushed them to over-time in 2008 group play before losing 85-75.
NBA standout Yi Jianlian of the Dallas Mavericks led China with game highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds while Wang Zhizhi, the first Chinese player in the NBA who now plays in China, contributed 15 points.
Spain took a 53-41 half-time lead but stubborn China stayed within 69-60 entering the fourth quarter. Spain opened the final period with a 14-7 run and China could not catch the European champions despite a late push led by Yi.