The United States men’s basketball team survived a first-half scare vs. Australia in the first Olympic semifinal on Thursday, turning a 15-point second-quarter deficit into a runaway 97-78 victory. The Americans will play France, which held off Luka Doncic and Slovenia, 90-89, in the other semifinal matchup, for the gold medal on Friday night, as reported by CBS News.
Kevin Durant, who has already etched his name in history as the United States’ all-time leading Olympic scorer, was spectacular again, keeping Team USA afloat when nobody else could get anything going. Durant finished with 23 points and was a switching, rim-protecting force on the defensive end, which is ultimately where the Americans won this game.
Can USA Men’s Basketball Team Bring Home The Gold?
For a minute there, I thought the USA basketball team was doomed. Especially, since they lost early in the Tokyo Olympics to France. However, Kevin Durant has and the team has redeemed themselves. Although, the gold medal is still at bay. Either way, the team has come back from defeat quite nicely.
There is a possibility the USA men’s basketball team will bring home the gold. Kevin Durant has surpassed all expectations. Kevin’s talent is undeniable. Of course, the USA team has to face France. So far, France has been playing some serious hoops. If the USA team can win the gold it will be the fourth straight Olympic gold. However, all eyes are on Kevin. Can he bring his team to victory?
“I feel like a lot of teams are expecting us to fold early,” said Durant, who finished with a game-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. “We know how to handle ourselves. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team that had straight faces and were ready to play when we were down 15. ‘Strong faces’ is what [Popovich] said. We kept our composure.”
Keep in mind, Kevin has played in 19 Olympic games, starting with the 2012 London Olympic games. Kevin has three gold medals. So, you see, Kevin can get the job done. Even his teammates believe he can. Kevin’s teammates have great praise for his leadership. In fact, Devin Booker,
“These games are real meaningful to him and our whole team. He’s been a great leader for us, and we feed off his energy. He didn’t have to be here [because of what] he’s done in the Olympic Games of the past.”
By the way, Devin plays for the Phoenix Suns. And, it was his three-point shot that turned things in the USA’s favor in the third quarter. In addition, Coach Popovich mentioned the way to stay focused,
“You don’t react to a teammate’s turnover, a referee’s call or the fact that you missed a shot,” Popovich explained. “Nobody cares. You don’t have that right. You owe your team, and you’re responsible to your team to move on to the next play. [Krzyzewski] called it ‘strong faces.’ As simplistic as it sounds, it’s true.”
Here is the team roster:
- Bam Adebayo Miami Heat
- Bradley Beal* Washington Wizards
- Devin Booker Phoenix Suns
- Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
- Jerami Grant Detroit Pistons
- Draymond Green Golden State Warriors
- Jrue Holiday Milwaukee Bucks
- Keldon Johnson San Antonio Spurs
- Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls
- Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers
- Kevin Love Cleveland Cavaliers
- JaVale McGee Denver Nuggets
- Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks