Team USA is used to adversity.
Revered around the world as the most talented squads in the world, the US unexpectedly lost an exhibition game to the Nigerian and Australian men’s national basketball teams and one of their first games in the tournament to France ahead of the official start of the Olympics.
Now, in the semi-finals in a rematch with the Boomers, Australia’s men’s national basketball team, Team USA was 15 points behind at the start of the game.
Australia, led by guard Patty Mills, has developed a practical game plan: play a solid defense and crush the Americans.
However, there is one factor that the Australian team would be struggling to resolve even if they prepared for it: the offensive super-weapon, Kevin Durant.
Durant, a ruthless scorer, put Team USA on their backs in the first half with seven baskets made and finished the game with a team high of 23 points. Led by Durant, Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday, the Americans stormed back and won the game 97-78.
“If you’re a great team and you play a team that feels like we’re going to be hard to beat, they’re going to come out and play their best kind of basketball,” said Durant. “They will play perfect basketball and I had a feeling they did in the first half and when we were beaten by three at half time I felt like we had the game in our hands.”
Team USA will now face France in the gold medal game.
France celebrates a crisp 90:89 victory over Slovenia and knocks out child prodigy Luka Doncic.
If the Americans prevail, it will be their fourth consecutive gold medal in the competition.