Spain improved to an undefeated 3-0 in Group B of the men's basketball tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics with a 79-78 win over Great Britain on Thursday. After trailing by double digits for much of the second half, Great Britain made a push in the final five minutes to try and even things up against the heavily favored Spaniards. But Britian's leader, Luol Deng, committed a costly turnover as he drove to the basket and lobbed a lazy pass across a congested lane. Deng has had to carry Britain in each of its first three games and he looked exhausted in the final minute, committing turnovers on two straight possessions as Britain tried to close the deficit.
In the final 30 seconds, Britain hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions to keep the game close, but they never could quite even things up. After Deng hit an off-balance 3-pointer to cut Spain's lead to a single point, the British could not catch Jose Calderon in the backcourt as he dribbled out the last five seconds along the baseline. Calderon, one of the best free-throw shooters in basketball, helped ice the game by scoring Spain's final eight points, including a perfect 6-for-6 mark from the free-throw line to close Britain out. Calderon led Spain with 19 points, while Pau Gasol added 17 on the inside.
Deng, who led Great Britain's dramatic 30-point fourth quarter charge, led all scorers with 26 points. But it was not enough, as Britain remained winless in Group B. They will now face Australia on Saturday, while Spain moves on to play the undefeated Russians in a match that will crown an undisputed leader atop the group.
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