Pau Gasol may be 35 years old, but he hasn’t shown it at EuroBasket 2015, and he delivered an all-time great performance in Spain’s stunning 80-75 overtime victory over France in the semifinals on Thursday. The win puts Spain in the championship game and gives them a berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Gasol put up 40 points and 11 rebounds in the upset victory, shooting 12-of-21 from the field and doing plenty of damage against France’s Rudy Gobert. Gasol’s efforts helped Spain, who’s missing some key players for this EuroBasket, erase an 11-point second-half deficit and ultimately prevail in the extra period.
It looked like Spain was going to win in regulation, but a Nicolas Batum three tied it with 14 seconds left. Gobert then blocked Gasol in the waning moments, sending the game to overtime. France took a three-point lead in the extra frame, but Gasol scored the last eight points of the game, with six of those points coming on dunks:
Batum had 14 points for France, but he shot just 3-of-14 from the field and missed clutch free throws in overtime. Tony Parker really struggled as well, shooting 4-of-17 from the field. Gobert had eight points and 13 rebounds, but him fouling out late in overtime helped Gasol get free for those dunks.
Spain now awaits the winner of Serbia and Lithuania, who will do battle in the other semifinal game on Friday afternoon.