US men’s basketball topples France for fourth consecutive Olympic gold
TOKYO – The United States guys’s basketball group has actually done it once again.
Regardless of all the challenges of constructing a lineup following a COVID-19 affected NBA season, regardless of early battles in exhibit video games, regardless of even an unusual loss in the group phase, completion outcome was the very same as it’s been for the previous 3 Olympics: Gold.
Group U.S.A. lastly did Saturday what it might refrain from doing when it played France almost 2 weeks earlier, liquidating a 87-82 triumph with some well-timed jumpers after France had actually cut the deficit to simply 3 points with 5:40 left.
“We went through some real adversity. We just fought though everything,” Kevin Durant stated. “It meant a lot. France is a good team, they don’t quit. They’re a big team. They presented a big challenge. But we wanted them again. We wanted to play them again.”
Unlike their very first conference, when France left the Americans shell-shocked after an 83-76 triumph, the U.S. reacted instantly as Damian Lillard made a set of long 2-point jumpers and Jrue Vacation got a take and a dunk to keep their group out of risk.
That series was basically the story of this one, as the U.S. held back one follow another France, which pulled within 5 at halftime and 8 after 3 quarters. However the French were never ever able to construct any continual momentum mainly since of Durant, who had 29 indicate go along with the 30-points he scored in the gold medal video games in both 2012 and 2016.
Lillard stated the win brings pleasure and relief. “More joy than relief, but definitely some relief because of the expectations that get placed on Team USA,” he said. “There’s going to be some relief because of it, especially with us losing a few games. It’s like, ‘All right, we got to get it done. Let’s get to it.’ Finally getting there and winning the gold-medal game, you can almost exhale.”
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His final two points at the foul line finished off the win after the French had closed it to within 85-82 with 10.2 seconds left. Durant also made 9-of-18 field goals.
The U.S. made just 8-of-29 threes in the gold medal game but forced France into 18 turnovers and were able to turn those into transition baskets that helped unlock their offense.
Afterward the team gleefully danced on the court in celebration, with Durant draped in a U.S. flag. The medal was the 100th for Team USA at the Tokyo Games.
“It’s an incredible feeling, something you always dream about,” said Jayson Tatum, who had 19 points. “I remember being in high school, watching these guys win a gold medal. And now I’m getting to be able to play alongside them.”
Team USA coaches group-hugged and Gregg Popovich led them over to the stands to celebrate with Jerry Colangelo.
Jay Wright had tears in his eyes and Popovich was emotional as he went through mixed zone. “USA Basketball head coach is the hardest job in the world,” Wright stated. “This meant a lot to him.”
This post initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: U.S.A. basketball wins gold medal: United States guys fall France at Tokyo Olympics
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.