Reside Updates: The Tokyo Olympics: NPR

The United States players celebrate after their victory in the men’s basketball gold medal game against France at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday. Luca Bruno / AP hide the caption

Toggle caption

Luca Bruno / AP

The United States players celebrate after their victory in the men’s basketball gold medal game against France at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday.

Luca Bruno / AP

TOKYO – The U.S. men’s basketball team continued their run of Olympic dominance on Saturday. The Americans beat France 87-82 in the gold medal game and won their fourth straight title in games dating back to 2008.

Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets once again led the way offensively for the USA. He scored 29 points and sealed the win with two free throws in the last second. “To face this adversity against a great team, to come together so quickly, it was nice to see it, it was nice to be part of it,” said Durant. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Evan Fournier of the Boston Celtics each had 16 people leading a French team that defeated the Americans when they first met in Tokyo.

For the USA, the victory ended an Olympic run that began with doubts – the Americans were not big enough, said skeptics, had not played together enough … and the world was catching up.

US women's basketball continues Olympic dominance over Japan

“I think it’s more joy than relief, but definitely a relief. The expectations that are placed on Team USA are relieved, especially since we lost a couple of games,” said Damian Lillard, USA point guard from the Portland Trail Blazer. “It’s like we have to make it, so all you can do is breathe out when you’re finally there and pull it off in the gold medal game.”

A number of the other Olympic teams had current or former NBA players involved in their lineups. But the entire US team was made up of top-notch NBA athletes and now has a fourth consecutive gold medal and seventh place in the last eight Olympics.

Overall, gold is the 19th medal that Team USA has won in men’s basketball (16 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze). With the win, the US record in the Olympic competition is 150-6, which equates to a win rate of 0.962.

American Kevin Durant (C) looks at the basket in the men’s final basketball game between France and the USA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hide caption Aris Messinis / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Toggle caption

Aris Messinis / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

American Kevin Durant (C) looks at the basket in the men’s final basketball game between France and the USA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Aris Messinis / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Comments are closed.