But it didnt turn out quite the way he wantin Allgemein 16.04.2018 15:04
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RIO DE JANEIRO -- The U.S. mens basketball team expected this.Whether it was for the gold medal, as in the last two Olympics, or just along the road to gold, the Americans figured they would see the Spanish again.No doubt in my mind, Kevin Durant said.Well, here they are.The worlds top teams meet again Friday in the semifinals, with Spain getting another chance to finish the job against the U.S. after being oh-so-close in the last two gold-medal games.Weve been battling against them for a long time, Spain point guard Ricky Rubio said. Weve always come up short. It would be a dream for us to beat them. I really think we can do it, but we have to have the perfect game.They played superb ones in 2008 and 2012, but not good enough.The U.S. pulled away to win 118-107 in Beijing, then fought off an even fiercer challenge in London, winning 107-100. And when the Spanish opened this tournament with two straight losses, it was easy to think they wouldnt get another shot at the Americans.Spain never discounted its chances.Neither did the U.S.Weve always felt Spain, theyd have a gold-medal chance, and why wouldnt we think that? U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. The last two gold-medal games weve played were against them and they were great, great games.The Americans couldnt relax until the final minute of the last one, when Krzyzewski leaped triumphantly in front of the bench -- nothing approaching the Olympic high jump record, but the best he can do.Now 69 and coming off knee, hernia and ankle surgeries this spring, Krzyzewski might show he still has some hops if the Americans win more gold.If we win, Im sure Ill jump around a little bit, he said.Age hasnt slowed Spain down, either.Surging into the semifinals with American-esque dominance, the Spanish have won four straight to stave off elimination. Spain beat Nigeria 96-87, crushed Lithuania 109-59 and topped Argentina 92-73 to battle back for a quarterfinal spot, then ran away from France 92-67 on Wednesday.I think the first couple of games we were close to, but we couldnt get to the next step, veteran guard Jose Calderon said. Sometimes its the pressure, sometimes its whatever it is, but we click again.The winner plays Australia or Serbia on Sunday.Already without Marc Gasol, who broke his foot during the NBA season, Spain had to go portions of its training camp in July without Pau Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez while they handled free agency. So the Spanish arrived in Brazil a little more disjointed than precise, but thats over with now.We couldnt play any better in the tournament, Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.The Americans were dominant again in their quarterfinal after three close calls, beating Argentina 105-78.When we lock in, I dont think anybody can stop us, Carmelo Anthony said. When we focus in and we kind of dedicate ourselves to playing the right way, its a scary sight out there.Anthony noticed the competitiveness of Group B, where the top four teams all finished 3-2, and wondered if Spain could dig its way out of its early hole. But the rest of the American contingent that has been around for all the matchups with the Spanish never believed the talk that Spain, even with Gasol, Calderon and five-time Olympian Juan Carlos Navarro nearing the end of their brilliant careers, was too old for another run.I never said they were too old. I never said any of those things. Other people are making comments. All weve said is we have great respect for them, said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, adding that Spain was one of the models he looked at when he took over the program in 2005.Added Krzyzewski: They show up and they show up big time.Now this generation of Spanish players, which won a world championship in 2006 and has carried its country to the No. 2 ranking in the world, is probably getting its final opportunity to win Olympic gold.The Americans have turned them away twice.Now they need to do it again to take the next step toward their goal.I know for us, its one game or nothing. Its all or nothing for us, Anthony said. Thats our mindset and we dont plan on letting anything come between us.---AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.---Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney Evgeni Malkin Jersey . Once again Jordan Cieciwa (@FitCityJordan) and I (@LynchOnSports) go head to head in our picks. 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Cheap Stitched Penguins Jerseys . -- Bryant McKinnie came out of his stance and lowered his shoulder into a practice squad player, causing a crisp thud to reverberate in the Miami Dolphins practice bubble. NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Theres nothing like a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the Tennessee Titans remember how to protect their home field.Marcus Mariota threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns to end his home struggles and the Titans had their highest point total of the season in a 36-22 victory over the Jaguars on Thursday night.Since the start of the 2014 season, the Titans are 3-0 at home against the Jaguars and 1-17 against everybody else. The Titans are 3-8 in home games started by Mariota, a second-year pro out of Oregon.It was important, Mariota said. To give our fans an opportunity to see how this team can play, it was huge. Hopefully this will build a foundation for the rest of the year and give the fans what they really want.Mariota was 18 of 22 and had a 148.1 passer rating, the second-highest of his career. DeMarco Murray ran for 123 yards and a touchdown to help the Titans bounce back four days after squandering a lead in a 34-26 home loss to Indianapolis.I thought it was good to have a short turnaround, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. It was a difficult loss we had against Indy. We had to get focused right on these guys immediately, especially with a prime-time game. We wanted to show what were capable of doing, show the country what were trying to do here.The Titans (4-4) gained a season-high 494 total yards and won for the third time in four games. They scored on six straight possessions during a stretch that began in the first quarter and stretched into the third period.Tennessee already led 3-0 before Mariota threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright on the first play of the second quarter. Rookie Derrick Henry capped the Titans next drive by scoring his first career touchdown on a 6-yard run.Murray added a 14-yard touchdown run 3 1/2 minutes later.After starting out to his right and encountering traffic, Murray reversed his field, capitalized on a downfield block from Mariota and dove into the left corner of the end zone for his sixth touchdown run of the season.Jacksonville (2-5) trailed 24-0 by the time it got its second first down of the game midway through the second quarter. The Titans led 27-0 at halftime.Its a broken record, Jaaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said.dddddddddddd Its a lack of execution. Its dumb mistakes. The same stuff every week.Bortles threw three touchdown passes and went 33 of 54 for 337 yards, but much of his production came with the game out of reach.UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY: This is the first time the Titans have reached the midway point of the season without a losing record since 2011, when they also were 4-4. That 2011 team went on to finish 9-7.LARGER WORKLOAD FOR HENRY: Titans rookie Derrick Henry had a combined three carries in the two games leading up to this one, but the Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama was much busier Thursday.Henry had 16 carries for 60 yards to set career highs in both categories. He also caught four passes for 37 yards.RARE RECOVERY: LeShaun Sims got the Titans first fumble recovery of the season in the third quarter after Jacksonvilles Marqise Lee muffed a punt return. The Titans had entered the night as the only team in the NFL that hadnt recovered an opponents fumble.ANOTHER SLOW START: The Jaguars couldnt advance beyond their own 26 on their first series, continuing a long string of futility on opening possessions.The Jaguars havent scored a touchdown on their opening series of a game since the second week of the 2015 season against Miami. That 21-game drought marks the longest any team has gone without reaching the end zone on its first possession.UNHAPPY HOMECOMING: This marked a return home for Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a first-round pick from Florida State who played high school football at Brentwood (Tennessee) Academy.But it didnt turn out quite the way he wanted.Ramsey was called for unnecessary roughness in the first quarter. In the second period, Ramsey was pushed backward on Henrys 6-yard run. One play later, Henry scored on another 6-yard carry.UP NEXT: The Jaguars go back on the road to visit Kansas City on Nov. 6. 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