Friday, September 2, 2011
Pau Gasol scores 21 as Spain beats Great Britain
By Brian Kamenetzky
In 1588, England crushed the Spanish Armada.
It took over 400 years, but Spain finally got some revenge, thanks to their 86-69 win over Great Britain in Group A play at the European Championships in Lithuania Friday, a game (judging by the crowd shots from replay on ESPN3.com) attended by approximately 19 people. Still, those hoops mad Lithuanians who bothered stopping by were treated to another solid performance from Lakers forward Pau Gasol. 21 points, hitting nine of his 13 shots from the floor, adding six boards, two assists, and a pair of blocks in another light evening of work (22 minutes). For the tournament, Pau is shooting a robust 73.5 percent (25-34).
Pau logged Spain's opening four points, first on an end-of-the-clock 17 footer from the left baseline, then after a nice cut from the right block he accepted a pass from little brother Marc before finishing with the reverse layup. Later in the quarter he threw down a nice lob from Sergio Llull (who's rights are held by Houston).
After the half, likely fueled by Pau's inspiring "Remember the Armada!" speech at the break*, the Gasol's were dominant-- particularly Marc, who scored 12 points in the period-- blowing a reasonably close game wide open. Pau got Marc going with a slick entry pass high on the right wing into the block, then scored on another reverse layup after a nice baseline spin move from the right block before blocking Luol Deng at the other end.
He'd add a couple more buckets before the end of the third, then more in the fourth before sitting down for good.