Team USA avenged their loss to France in the opening game of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament by defeating France in the finals, 87-82, to win their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
In the winner-take-all final at the Saitama Super Arena, the United States showered scorn on France, allowing the Americans to capture their 32nd gold and 100th medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
After lowering the USA’s lead to three points, 82-85, with just ten seconds left in the game, France attempted to rally in the last minute.
Nicolas Batum of the Los Angeles Clippers put out an amazing effort late in the game to harass Kevin Durant, as the French trimmed a double-digit United States advantage to just three baskets with 10 seconds remaining. Durant didn’t score until his final free throw tries in the fourth quarter.
This prompted the Americans to rely on other studs like Lillard (11 points), Jrue Holiday (11) and Jayson Tatum (11 points) (19). Draymond Green also provided crucial defense and rebounds.
After a timeout in the crucial stages of the fourth quarter, Batum’s three pointers missed giving the USA the win.
Durant, who surpassed Carmelo Anthony as the United States’ all-time leading scorer in these Games, led the team with 29 points in the 87-82 triumph.
“You realise, you know, you finished the job, you get the gold medal, you get the trophy, but when you go through that journey it’s just incredible to be a part of something so special,” said the Brooklyn Nets star who has now won three Olympic gold medals.
“I’m bonded to these guys for life,”
Jayson Tatum, on the other hand, blasted 19 from the bench.
The men’s team from the United States has a long history of being the team to beat, having won 15 gold medals since 1936. This is their fourth gold medal in a row at the event.
For the French, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier led the offense with 16 points each.
France will take home their third silver in the men’s basketball, while the bronze medal will be awarded to the winner of the match between Slovenia and Australia Boomers.