The London Games came to an end on Sunday, in what will be rememered as a spiritied 17 days of athletic competition.
On the final day, the U.S. men's basketball team fulfilled its destiny. Despite fierce competition from Spain and its star big men, Pau and Marc Gasol, the U.S. won gold in a tight game, 107-100. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points, and LeBron James added 19 points on eight-of-13 shooting.
Kevin Durant, left, and LeBron James celebrate their victory over Spain on Sunday.
Chris Paul made a key layup with less than a minute remaining to lift the U.S. team to victory. The usually reserved head coach Mike Krzyzewski leaped in jubilation with the game winding down, even though Spain had a glimmer of hope with some missed free throws by the U.S.
In men's volleyball, Russia earned its first gold since 1980 when the squad defeated Brazil in five sets, 20-25, 29-27, 25-22, 15-9. Russia has now won four gold medals in men's volleyball.
Croatia took home the gold in men's water polo, as it defeated neighbor Italy in the final, 8-6. While Croatia is a powerhouse in the sport, this was the nation's first gold medal, as Hungary had won the last three gold medals.
In men's handball, France became the first nation to win consecutive Olympic titles in the sport when it edged Sweden, 22-21.
Uganda runner Stephen Kiprotich took the gold in the marathon and defeated Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kiprotich, Stephen's brother, by 26 seconds and one minute and 36 seconds, respectively. American Meb Keflezighi finished fourth.
Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu took the gold in the 145-pound freestyle wrestling final when he ended India's dream of its first Olympic wrestling gold by beating Sushil Kumar, a railway worker. Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan earned the bronze.
In the 210-pound freestyle, American Jake Varner won gold by defeating Ukraine's Valerie Andriitsev, 1-0, 1-0. Georgi Gogshelidze, of Georgia, took the bronze.
Laura Asadauskaite, of Lithuania, earned the gold in the women's modern pentathlon in the final medal of the London Games.
The U.S. won the medal race with 104 medals, an 46 were gold. China finished second with 87, followed by Russia with 82. The host nation, Great Britain, earned the third-most golds with 29 and finished fourth in the overall count.
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