USA vs. Spain: TV, Live Stream, Prediction for 2021 Olympic Men's BasketballAugust 2, 2021
The United States and Spain are used to seeing each other in the knockout round of the men's basketball bracket at the Summer Olympics.
Typically, the two rivals do not face off until the gold-medal match, but on Tuesday, they will do battle in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Games.
The United States settled for second place in Group A after suffering a loss to France in its opening game, while Spain fell to Slovenia to take second in Group C.
The two international powerhouses were drawn on the same part of the bracket as Australia and Argentina. Slovenia-Germany and Italy-France are the two quarterfinals on the other half of the bracket.
USA vs. Spain Info
Date: Tuesday, August 3
Start Time: 12:40 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app
United States 102, Spain 91
The United States found its scoring stride in the final two group-stage games against Iran and Czech Republic.
Those victories came against two of the weakest sides in the competition, but it is still notable that the Americans corrected some of the wrongs from the opening loss to France.
In the 119-84 win over Czech Republic, the Americans were forced to create separation in the second quarter after a fast start from the European side.
Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum combined to put up 50 of the 119 points, and a total of five players found double figures.
The scoring depth will be needed throughout the knockout round as teams focus more on stopping Durant.
One of the United States' biggest flaws from the France loss is no one stepped up to score at a high level in Durant's absence when he was on the bench with foul trouble.
Zach LaVine, Jrue Holiday and JaVale McGee all chipped in double-digit point totals versus Czech Republic.
Look for Damian Lillard and LaVine to help Durant and Tatum in the scoring department on Tuesday to make up for the size disadvantage against Spain.
Pau and Marc Gasol will have size advantages on the United States, but the American players have experience playing against the brothers.
If the Americans attack the rim and get one or both into foul trouble, they could gain an edge in the paint battle.
Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green and McGee should still be able to attack the glass, but it will take some extra effort to win the contests on the boards with the Gasol brothers.
Spain has a handful of decent shooters on its roster, but if the service from Ricky Rubio is cut off, the European side will have a tough time firing off open looks.
USA head coach Gregg Popovich should game plan to take Rubio out of the contest, or at least make him feel uncomfortable.
That should allow the United States to get some much-needed stops and break out in transition for easy points.
The Americans appear to be in a scoring groove, and Spain just gave up 95 points to a Slovenia team that played well despite 12 points from Luka Doncic.
As long as the United States spreads the ball around and contains Rubio's offensive ability, it should move into the semifinal round.