Despite all the talk surrounding the US men’s national team, it’s still headed to the gold medal game of the Tokyo Olympics like many supporters anticipated.
Team USA beat Australia, 97-78, Wednesday, Aug. 4 from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
While the Americans are headed to yet another gold medal game in pursuit of a fourth straight gold medal, the Australians hope to change their luck.
In 15 Olympic appearances, Australia has never medaled and will now have a place in the bronze medal game.
Team USA will await the winner of the Slovenia - France game later in the day. The US men’s team has yet to play Slovenia this Olympic run and suffered a loss to France to open pool play in Tokyo.
This win over Australia also avenged an exhibition game loss in late July in Las Vegas.
Similar to the team’s first game in the knockout round against Spain, Team USA fell behind big early.
While facing a deficit as large as 11 points against Spain, this time around the US were down by as many as 15 points.
This early deficit came with guard Patty Mills struggling from the field, starting his night 1-for-7. Yet, the team never wavered and continued to chip away at the early deficit.
A 20-0 run between the second and third quarters changed the entire complexion of the game.
Not only did the Americans cut into the lead but the team would take one of its own.
Before long the lead would muscle to 29 points.
Forward Kevin Durant led the team in scoring with 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, two steals and a block.
Guard Devin Booker was the second 20-point scorer for this team finishing with 20 points on 7-of-10 from the field including three made three-pointers.