It was clear Spain’s window was closing, but few thought it would be Croatia to expose the two-time silver medalist’s aging roster.
Croatia had trailed since 5 minutes into the first quarter but a Krunoslav Simon steal and fastbreak layup gave the Croats the lead with 1:25 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
From there Croatia would never give up the lead, though a Nikola Mirotic three with 16 seconds left brought Spain within striking distance.
Pau Gasol had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Dario Saric came up with the game-winning block to seal the upset.
Entering the tournament Spain hoped they would finally be able to get over the hump and capture that elusive gold medal, but this opening round loss puts a put those aspirations in doubt.