USA claim Olympic basketball gold

Sport360 staff 03:48 22/08/2016
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Dream Team: US basketball stars.

The United States saved some of their best for last to continue their reign atop men’s basketball with a third straight Olympic gold in the final event of the Games.

In a rematch of a slim three-point win over Serbia in the group stages, the Americans were relentless in the final at Barra Carioca Arena to end their Rio campaign on the ultimate high on Sunday with a 96- 66 victory.

The result marked the 15th gold for USA and stretched their overall win streak to 25 contests.

Kevin Durant led the way with a blistering performance which saw him net 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting – 18 points in the second quarter – including five 3-pointers and multiple thunderous dunks.

The 27-year-old showed why he was considered the top player on USA’s roster as he seized the responsibility he inherited when NBA superstars LeBron James and Stephen Curry chose to pass on Rio.

Two other Americans scored in double figures with DeMarcus Cousins notching 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Klay Thompson adding 12 of his own. Carmelo Anthony contributed seven points and became the first player in history to earn three Olympic gold medals in basketball.

Mike Krzyzewski, meanwhile, became the first coach to win three gold medals in his final game on the bench with the national team.

Serbia appeared as if they would once again push the Americans when they led 14-11 with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter, but from there on USA took control to open up a comfortable lead.

The 66 points by Serbia were the second-fewest surrendered by the US in the entire tournament.

Earlier, Spain defeated Australia 89-88 in the bronze medal game behind Pau Gasol’s 31 points and 11 rebounds to earn a third consecutive top-three finish at the Olympics.

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