Team USA overcomes slow start against Spain thanks to Kevin Durant and advance to Olympic men’s basketball semi-finals – .

Team USA overcomes slow start against Spain thanks to Kevin Durant and advance to Olympic men’s basketball semi-finals – .

SAITAMA, Japan – Kevin Durant’s case as the greatest Olympic basketball player of all time grows with the game. The United States team is in dire need of prosecution.
For the third consecutive Summer Olympics, Durant was an offensive powerhouse as he overcame the challenges of international play with his spectacular shooting skills. He was unstoppable in London, was oblivious in Rio, and was the cornerstone of a flawed US team in Tokyo.

Durant’s shot saved the Americans again on Tuesday as they overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Spain 95-81 and advance to the semi-finals of the men’s Olympic basketball tournament, in which they face Australia or Argentina on Thursday.

He scored 29 points – including 13 in the decisive third quarter – to help his team get through a new slow start.

It has become apparent that this version of Team USA has glaring weaknesses – particularly her lack of stature and her penchant for relying on 3-point shooting that leaves her vulnerable to falls in a 40-minute game. Then again, the Americans also have their strengths – and they too are blatantly – which would be their speed and ability to smother their opponents when these 3 start to fall.

Durant’s abilities are the epitome of strategy, as he made three triples in the third quarter as the Americans stuck to improving their ball movement which has repeatedly managed to deliver their open look of star.

The Spaniards must be fed up with Durant at this point after dropping 30 points to them in the London gold medal game in 2012, then collected 14 points and eight rebounds in their semi-final game in 2016. .

And Ricky Rubio must be personally tired of anything red, white, and blue. The loss marked the fourth consecutive Olympics he had to swallow against the United States, dating back to the 2008 gold medal game in Beijing.

Rubio played as if he knew this could be his last chance against the Americans, displaying relentless aggression from the start. He attacked and looked for shots throughout the game, even against strong defense from Jrue Holiday, and repeatedly broke free to finish in the lane.

It was a masterful performance – he finished with 38 points on 13 of 20 shots.

The Americans went just 4 of 17 out of 3 points in the first half while Spain hammered the ball inside which is now the norm for opponents. It led to a cushion for Spain, but it never looked like it would last.

The USA team, led by a more aggressive defense, finished the first half in a 14-4 run, then opened the second half 15-4 behind Durant to create a split.

Jayson Tatum, who is emerging as a weapon as an off-bench scorer, scored 13 points and scored several key baskets in the fourth to keep the lead secure.


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