Spain Advances to Gold Medal Game in Basketball

BEIJING (AP) - Spain advanced to their first gold medal game in basketball since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as Pau Gasol scored 19 points to lead his team to a 91-86 victory over Lithuania.

Lithuania will play Argentina for the bronze medal. It will be the 5th straight bronze medal game for Lithuania.

Rudy Fernandez added 18 for the Spaniards, who will face the United States for the gold medal on Sunday. The U.S. beat Argentina, 101-81, to get to the final round. They drubbed Spain 119-82 earlier in pool play.

Spain is looking to add an Olympic title to the world championship it won two years ago in Japan.

Simas Jasaitis and Sarunas Jasikevicius each scored 19 points for Lithuania, which had a big night in long-range scoring, hitting 12 of 31 three-pointers. Jasaitis hit 5 of 10 from downtown, while teammate Ksistof Lavrinovic was 4 of 6 behind the arc.

Pau Gasol and Jasikevicius were held to two and three points in the 2nd quarter, while Jasaitis sank 3 three-pointers in less than three minutes to help his team take the period, 23-19, and go to the half up by a bucket, 42-40.

Lithuania managed again outscore Spain, 24-22, in the 3rd quarter, extending their lead to 66-62.

The game was for the taking entering the 4th quarter, but Spain's scoring giants woke up. Rudy Fernandez scored 9 points and Pau Gasol added 7 while Spain outscored Lithuania from the line, 13-5, to take the game by five.

In the end, the two teams traded the lead 10 times and tied it 9 times, but Spain beat Lithuania in the paint, 42-24.

Felipe Reyes added 13 for Spain. Lithuania had five players in double figures.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)