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London 2012 Olympics: Pau Gasol Leads Spain Past China, 97-81

Considered Team USA's best competition, Spain played the part in its opening win against China on Sunday.

Pau Gasol and Spain beat China 97-81 in their 2012 Olympic opener. The Los Angeles Lakers forward finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Like Team USA earlier on Sunday, Spain also got off to a slow start, only leading by two points after the first quarter.

Spain dominated China, winning the rebound battle 35-22 and shooting 57.1 percent from the field, including an 11-for-19 performance from three-point range. Forward Yi Jianlian led China with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Spain led 69-60 entering the third quarter, and used a 14-7 run to open the fourth quarter to take control of the game.

Four players for Spain scored in double-digits including Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka's 17 points. Spain's next game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31st against Australia at 3:15 a.m..

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic Basketball, follow the 2012 Olympic Basketball section.