Olympics: Injury fears hit Spain challenge to US NBA stars
Spanish big man Pau Gasol of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers scored 20 points and NBA Denver Nuggets playmaker Rudy Fernandez added 17 despite hitting the back of his head on a camera lens and taking three stitches just before half-time.
The Spaniards, who lost to a US NBA squad in the 2008 Olympic final, were already without captain Juan Carlos Navarro.
The 32-year-old guard who scored 14 points in a 97-81 victory over China was out with a left foot injury.
"He couldn't play," Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo said. "I don't know how many games he will miss."
Scariolo, an Italian, was worried when he saw Fernandez laying on the court holding the back of his head after falling under the basket chasing a loose ball and hitting his head on the lens of a camera being used by a photographer.
But Fernandez, just back after five months sidelined by a back injury, rose and was helped to the locker room. He returned to play almost nine minutes of the second half and scored 11 points.
"That was extremely important," Scariolo said. "It's extremely important he makes these games for his confidence. When you are out so long a time you are confident you can return but you have to add these basketball feelings.
"We need him in full shape if we want to compete at our best and the same with Juan Carlos."
Australia took an early 19-14 lead before Spain answered with a 9-0 run for a 26-21 advantage on the way to a 37-32 half-time lead. The Spaniards scored the first 10 points of the second half and kept the Boomers at bay to the end.
"In the first half they definitely played better than us," Fernandez said. "In the second half we picked up our intensity and we dominated in the third quarter."
Gasol, a 2.15m (7ft) centre, helped Spain match Russia atop Group B at 2-0 with Britain next on Thursday.
"When we play the better teams we're going to have to play better at the start if we're going to get where we want," Gasol said. "We're a team that likes to get better as the tournament goes along."
The Aussies, led by 12 points each from Joe Ingles and Brad Newley, fell to 0-2 with China up next.
"We're going to need that game," said Australian guard Patrick Mills, who plays for the NBA San Antonio Spurs.
"It's that little patch after half-time hurting us. That's when bad things come in clusters -- bad shots, bad passes, that's all it is."
Australia coach Brett Brown backed the Spanish to threaten the United States' gold medal push.
"They are right there to have a legitimate chance of knocking the United States off," he said.