Spain Survives Late Run & Nicolas Batum's Punch to Beat France
The Spanish national basketball team needed late-game heroics to defeat France 66-59 and advance to the semifinals.
Spain went on a run to pull away at the end of the quarterfinal match and left France frustrated. Small forward Nicolas Batum lashed out with seconds remaining in the game and ended up punching Juan Carlos Navarro in the groin.
The reigning silver medalists outscored France 15-6 in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol scored 14 points while his brother Pau added 10 more. Navarro was the other double-digit scorer with 12 points.
For France, Tony Parker and Boris Diaw led all scorers with 15 points each.
Batum did not appear contrite over his actions after the match. He believed that Spain was playing the referees and going to the hardwood all too easily.
He made the following comment to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, via Wojnarowski’s Twitter.
I asked Nicolas Batum why he hit Juan-Carlos Navarro in the groin. "I wanted to give him a good reason to flop," Batum said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 8, 2012
This unfortunate outburst made for an ugly end to France’s tournament. The French team ended its Olympics with a 4-2 record.
Spain will advance to play Russia, who defeated Lithuania 83-74 earlier today, in the semifinals. The team is now 4-2, with its two losses coming to Brazil and Russia.
All scores and schedules for the tournament can be found via NBCOlympics.com.
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