Team USA Rallies Past Australia, Enters Gold Medal Match in Tokyo Olympics Basketball

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Team USA reached the men’s basketball competition finals at the Tokyo Olympics after recording a come-from-behind 97-78 victory over Australia in their semifinal showdown on Thursday. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker led the way for the Americans, who now are just a win away from grabbing their fourth consecutive gold medal in the Summer Games.

Durant led all scorers with 23 points, shooting a solid 10 of 19 from the field, including 9 of 12 from 2-point range. Booker added 20 points for Team USA, shooting at a high 70 percent clip from the floor.

Two other players scored in double-figures for the Americans, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. Holiday nearly recorded a triple-double, scoring 11 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and dishing out eight assists. Middleton added 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field.

Team USA starts poorly again but battles back late in the first half

Like in their previous contests, the Americans started poorly in the opening quarter against Australia, with the Boomers posting a 24-18 advantage after the first period of play. Australia continued to pile on the pressure in the second quarter, stretching its advantage to 15 points at one stage.

Contributing to Team USA’s woes was its horrible outside shooting. The Americans failed miserably from beyond the arc, missing their first ten three-point attempts against Australia, allowing the Boomers to establish that double-digit lead.

Just when it seemed that Australia was headed for a monster upset, the Americans battled back before the end of the first half. Team USA unleashed a 14-4 run in the final minutes of the second quarter just like they did in the win against Spain to pull to within three points of Australia heading into the half-time interval.

Related Article: Team USA Reaches Semifinals in Women’s Volleyball, Extends Win Streak in Women’s Basketball

Team USA pulls away in the second half to secure place in gold medal match

The Americans sustained the momentum of that late run at the beginning of the third quarter, immediately erasing the Aussies’ advantage with a 7-0 blast. Durant and Booker were simply unstoppable during this period, making baskets one after the other to extend Team USA’s advantage to double digits.

The game was all but over at the end of the third quarter as the Americans outscored the Australians 32-10 during the first 10 minutes of the second half to build a huge 74-55 advantage. The Boomers threw in the towel with four minutes left in the ballgame and the Americans up by 20, replacing stalwarts Patty Mills and Joe Ingles.

It was a disappointing loss for the Boomers, who were firing on all cylinders in the first half. The closing minutes of the second quarter just proved to be too costly for the Australians as they gave new life to an American side that appeared headed for a shock exit in the Olympics.

Team USA now awaits in the gold medal match the winner of the France vs. Slovenia semifinal scheduled later today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVNKMiyf8gs

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