Lillard, Johnson lead US to 83-76 exhibition win over Spain

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Yahoo Sports 18 July, 2021 - 10:00pm 4 views

Who will replace Beal?

2020 Olympics: JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson replace Bradley Beal and Kevin Love on the USA Basketball men's national team. The team has made some last second replacements befoe heading off to Tokyo. Bullets Forever2020 Olympics: McGee, Johnson replace Beal, Love on USA MBB team

What channel is USA vs Spain?

What TV channel will it be on? U.S.-Spain will be televised on NBCSN. al.comU.S. vs. Spain men’s basketball live stream (7/18): How to watch online, TV, times

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

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Damian Lillard scored 19 points and Johnson added 15 in an 83-76 victory Sunday night in the final pre-Olympic game for both teams before they head to Tokyo.

Johnson had been one of the young players training against the Americans, and had appeared in two exhibition games. The San Antonio forward/guard was added to the Olympic squad Friday after Bradley Beal tested positive for the coronavirus and Kevin Love withdrew because of a calf injury. The U.S. also added JaVale McGee, who didn’t play.

“Keldon Johnson played a really solid basketball game. made cuts to the bucket,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “When he did go to the bucket he was very physical. Very solid in half-court defense. He had a very, very good night.”

This was the U.S. team's fourth exhibition in eight days in Las Vegas. The Americans were supposed to have a fifth against Australia on Friday, but that was canceled out of caution because of the coronavirus issues the Americans were dealing with.

The two top-ranked team in the world struggled early on with Spain missing its first six shots before finally getting a basket 4:35 into the game.

Despite the slow start the Spaniards led 18-14 after one. They extended the lead to 38-36 at the half. Lillard and Durant each had 11 points at the half. The two combined to go 7 for 16 from the field while the rest of the U.S. squad was 5 of 19. Ricky Rubio had 14 points at the half for Spain.

“The defense was pretty solid. we couldn’t make a shot, but they didn’t let up defensively," Popovich said. “Kept their focus in that regard which will be important.”

Trailing 46-42 in the third quarter, the U.S. finally got going. The Americans scored the first 11 points during a 23-6 run that spanned the final two quarters. Johnson had eight points during the game-changing spurt. His dunk midway through the burst brought the crowd to life.

“I’m out here to be that energy guy, bring life to the team whenever you need it," Johnson said. "The third quarter we needed a spark. not saying because I got a couple of buckets. On the defense end, trying to bring some kind of energy or spark so we can get over the hump.”

Spain only had one field goal in the final 5:44 of the quarter and was down 57-50 heading into the fourth quarter.

The U.S. kept the burst going to start the fourth and led 65-52 on Jayson Tatum's reverse layup with 7:30 left. Spain could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.

While the U.S. had struggled at times in Las Vegas, Rubio, who has played internationally for years, thinks they'll figure it out.

“It's the first time they are playing together, it takes time,” he said. “They are dangerous if they play as a team.”

Jerami Grant returned to the U.S. squad after being in health and safety protocols since earlier this week “out of an abundance of caution”

Spain: The Spaniards open pool play against Japan on July 26.

U.S.: The Americans open up Olympic pool play against France next Sunday.

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Team USA got back on track as they came from behind to beat reigning world champion Spain 83-76, in their final exhibition game before heading to Tokyo for the Olympic men's basketball tournament.

After dropping back-to-back games to open exhibition play, Team USA has now won two straight headed into Tokyo.

A’ja Wilson scored 16 points and Breanna Stewart added 14 to lead the U.S.

An off-shooting night for Jayson Tatum, the Celtics star helped secure the win in other ways.

Both fighters made statements on Saturday night.

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Messi, Neymar to Pep Guardiola - Notable players who have won Olympic gold medal | Goal.com

Goal.com 18 July, 2021 - 10:13pm

Football in the Olympics is not played at a senior professional level as teams are allowed to field U23 players thus making it a youth competition. Only three players over the age of 23 are allowed in the squad.

The U23 rule has been in place since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. A primary reason why the football competition was converted into a U23 affair so that to avoid competition with the World Cup which is the biggest tournament in football.

Several top players have played in the Olympics in the early part of their careers. Players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Samuel Eto'o represented their countries and have even won gold medals. Eto'o had won the Olympic gold medal in 2000 with Cameroon. He later went on to become one of the greatest African strikers of all time and one of the best players to have donned the FC Barcelona shirt.

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria were an integral part of the Argentina squad which the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola and Spain national team coach Luis Enrique are also Olympic gold medal winners with Spain at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In the last Olympics, Brazil along with their star player Neymar won their maiden gold medal. Here, we take a look at some of the players who won an Olympic gold medal and later went on to become superstars.

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