(Photo : Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) SAITAMA, JAPAN – Evan Fournier #10 of Team France and Kevin Durant #7 of Team United States dive for possession of the ball during the second half of the Men’s Preliminary Round Group B game on day 2 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on July 25, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.
Plenty of gold medals are at stake for Team USA heading into Day 15 of the Tokyo Olympics. The one to watch out for is the men’s basketball final between France and the United States, with Team USA looking to win its fourth consecutive gold medal in this event.
Also looking to extend its dominance is the U.S. women’s water polo team, who will face Spain in the gold medal match today. A heavyweight clash is also in store in baseball, with Team USA taking on host nation Japan in the final.
Team USA takes on France for the gold in men’s basketball
It all boils down to this for Team USA and its vast collection of NBA stars. After all the trials and tribulations, this much-maligned American side is just a win away from taking home the ultimate prize in men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics. It certainly won’t be easy, though, as standing in their way in the gold medal match is battle-tested France.
The Frenchmen have yet to lose in this tournament, winning all five of their matches in the group and knockout stages, including a stunning upset over Team USA in their opener almost two weeks ago. In that contest, France laid down a marker, finishing the ballgame with a 16-2 run to pull off an 83-76 shocker.
For Team USA to win the much-anticipated rematch against France, it will need Kevin Durant to be a dominant force yet again. He has been unstoppable in Tokyo, becoming the first American men’s hooper to reach more than 400 career Olympic points.
Durant has carried Team USA in his broad shoulders, leading them in scoring in the knockout wins against Spain and Australia. Durant dropped 29 points in the comeback victory over Spain in the quarterfinals before recording 23 points and nine rebounds in the semifinal win over the Boomers.
The United States cannot afford for Durant to have a similar showing to the one he put up against France in the opening group game. Durant was a non-factor in that loss, scoring just 10 points.
France just barely made it to the gold medal match, squeaking past Slovenia in the semifinals, thanks in large part to Nicolas Batum, who made a game-saving rejection in the dying seconds to preserve the 90-89 win.
The gold medal game between Team USA and France will start at 10:30 p.m. ET, with NBC airing the live broadcast.
Related Article: Team USA Rallies Past Australia, Enters Gold Medal Match in Tokyo Olympics Basketball
Team USA hunting for gold in water polo and baseball
Team USA will also look to extend its rule in the pool, with the Americans targeting their third straight gold medal in women’s water polo. They are coming off a 15-11 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee in the semifinals, with Maddie Musselman providing the firepower in that comeback win with four second-half goals. Action starts at 3:30 a.m. ET and can be seen live on USA Network.
Team USA is also gunning for the gold medal in baseball, with the Americans looking to exact some payback over Japan. The United States had to go through a series of knockout matches after dropping a heart-breaking 7-6 loss to Japan in extra innings in the earlier rounds. The action begins at 6 a.m. ET with NBCSN providing live coverage of the gold medal match.
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