Order is restored in international basketball. The United States is back on top, but not by that much anymore. Culminating a three year mission to end years of embarrassment, the U.S. Olympic team survived a huge challenge from Spain, winning 118-107 Sunday in the gold medal game. After overwhelming everyone for seven games, the Americans led by only four points with under 2 1/2 minutes to play. In a game so devoid of defense that it felt more like an NBA All-Star game than one with a title at stake, the Americans had too much offense down the stretch. Bryant converted a clutch four-point play with 3:10 remaining, holding his finger to his lips to quiet the rowdy Spanish crowd behind the basket. Then the U.S. proved it could handle a close game that seemed would never come in Beijing. Their prize, the first U.S. gold medal since the 2000 Olympics.
Congratulations to the Team USA!!!Team USA's Tayshaun Prince, left, Carmelo Anthony, center, and Kobe Bryant show off their gold medals following their win over Spain in the gold medal basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)