Olympics

US romps to men's basketball gold, beats Serbia 96-66

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Associated Press

US romps to men's basketball gold, beats Serbia 96-66

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The U.S. Olympic men's basketball team ended up right where expected.

The Americans got their gold, and they did it easily.

Saving their best for last in a tournament that had been tough, the U.S. convincingly won its third straight gold medal, beating Serbia 96-66 on Sunday.

After a few close calls earlier in the Olympics, this was no contest. Kevin Durant scored 30 points and helped the Americans jump out to a huge lead by halftime.

Paul George said he and his teammates took out their frustrations on Serbia after hearing all the talk about them being less talented than previous U.S. squads and not blowing teams out.

"We did a good job of bottling all that up and unleashed it on Serbia," George said.

It was the final game with the national team for Mike Krzyzewski, who took the Americans back to the top and leaves with them there after becoming the first coach to win three Olympic gold medals.

Carmelo Anthony also picked up his third gold to go with a bronze, becoming the most decorated male in Olympic basketball history.

The U.S. beat Serbia by just 94-91 in pool play, holding on when Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a 3-pointer at buzzer. This rematch looked nothing like that meeting, but it did resemble the final of the 2014 Basketball World Cup, which the Americans won 129-92.

Anthony checked back into the rout in the final minutes so he could grab a seventh rebound, passing David Robinson for U.S. record with the 125th in his Olympic career. He had already become the leading scorer earlier in the tournament, capping an Olympic career that began with disappointment as a member of the U.S. team that finished third in 2004.

The Americans haven't lost since, winning 25 straight in the Olympics.

A few of the victories were more difficult than usual in this tournament, where half the Americans' eight games were decided by 10 points or fewer.

Krzyzewski said it didn't matter how the Americans won, that there would be no questions as long as they did.

And there was no doubt they would Sunday once Durant heated up.

He had also scored 30 in the 2012 gold-medal game, after he poured in a U.S.-record 38 in one game en route to the MVP of the 2010 world basketball championship. He is already the Americans' No. 2 career scorer in the Olympics in just two appearances.

When the final horn sounded, the U.S. players shared long hugs with each other and then Krzyzewski.

DeAndre Jordan went to the stands at Carioca Arena and collected an American flag, which he initially wrapped himself in like a blanket before holding it high over his head for all to see. After a slow start in Rio, there was no doubt about who was on top, and the Americans beamed as they walked off the floor before the medal ceremony where they will again be center court.

It was a tough ending for after an impressive run for Serbia in its first Olympics as an independent nation. The heart of an international power in the former Yugoslavia, the Serbs hadn't qualified for the Olympics since gaining their independence in 2006.

They dropped three games in the group stage but had the look of a team that could challenge the Americans after nearly knocking them off earlier in the tournament and overwhelming Australia in the semifinals.

They were down just 16-15 before Durant made a 3-pointer for the final points of the first quarter, and before then knew it he had turned the game into a blowout.

Two 3-pointers before a steal and dunk pushed the U.S. lead into double digits, and when he capped what may been the Americans' best possessions in Rio, when they whipped the ball from side to side around the perimeter until it ended up in the hands of Durant, and then in the net. That 3 made it 52-29 over the stunned Serbs.

A challenging year for the Americans started long before they boarded the cruise ship they stayed on while in Rio. For the first time since 2004, many top American players opted to skip the Olympics, forcing them to bring some here who wouldn't have been considered otherwise.

The 10 Olympic newcomers seemed to be jelling slowly and the U.S. had a pair of three-point victories and came in winning by just 21.4 points per game, more than 10 per game fewer than four years ago and about half the 43.8 the Dream Team won by in 1992.

Krzyzewski, an assistant on that team at the Barcelona Games, has long insisted that international basketball has gotten too strong for anyone to win that easily again.

Yet on Sunday, the Americans did.

Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games

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USA Today Images

Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles has reached an agreement with international Olympic leaders that will open the way for the city to host the 2028 Summer Games.

City Council President Herb Wesson's office confirmed the deal Monday.

Spokeswoman Caolinn Mejza says the pact is expected to be reviewed by the council later this week.

The agreement to be formally announced later Monday follows a vote earlier this month by the International Olympic Committee to seek a deal to award the 2024 and 2028 Games.

Paris is the only city left to host the 2024 Games.

The arrangement would make L.A. a three-time Olympic city, after hosting the 1932 and 1984 Games.

L.A. and Paris were the last two bids remaining after a tumultuous process that exposed the unwillingness of cities to bear the financial burden of hosting an event that has become synonymous with cost overruns.

L.A. was not even the first American entrant in the contest. Boston withdrew two years ago as public support for its bid collapsed over concerns about use of taxpayer cash. The U.S. bid switched from the east to the West Coast as L.A. entered the race.

But the same apprehensions that spooked politicians and the local population in Boston soon became evident in Europe where three cities pulled out.

Uncomfortably for IOC President Thomas Bach, whose much-vaunted Agenda 2020 reforms were designed to make hosting more streamlined and less costly after the lavish 2014 Sochi Games, the first withdrawal came from his homeland of Germany.

The lack of political unity for a bid in Hamburg was mirrored in Rome and Budapest as support for bids waned among local authorities and the population. It was clear they did not want to be saddled with skyrocketing bills for hosting the Olympics without reaping many of the economic benefits anticipated.

Just like in the depleted field for the 2022 Winter Games which saw Beijing defeat Almaty, the IOC was left with only two candidates again.

With two powerful cities left vying for 2024, Bach realized France or the U.S. could be deterred from going through another contest for 2028 if they lost. Bach floated the idea in December of making revisions to the bidding process to prevent it producing "too many losers," building support that led to L.A. and Paris being able to figure out themselves how to share the 2024 and 2028 Games.

The dual award of the games relieves the IOC of having to test the global interest in hosting the Summer Olympics for several years until the 2032 Games are up for grabs.

Ryan Lochte rushed by 2 men on 'Dancing With the Stars' stage

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AP

Ryan Lochte rushed by 2 men on 'Dancing With the Stars' stage

LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Lochte says he feels "a little hurt" after two men were arrested for allegedly rushing the stage following his performance on "Dancing with the Stars."

The two men, wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts, were arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing, Los Angeles police spokesman Officer Mike Lopez said.

They had rushed the stage while Lochte was getting his scores from judge Carrie Ann Inaba for his debut performance during Monday night's live installment of the celebrity ballroom dance competition.

"Hey, back off," Inaba said as the altercation was occurring off screen.

When the show returned, "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron explained they were interrupted by "a little incident" and thanked the ABC series' security team "for staying in shape."

The two men were detained by security until police arrived to take them into custody, Los Angeles police spokesman Mike Lopez said. He did not have the men's names.

No one was injured or listed as a victim in the incident, Lopez said.

The swimmer told Bergeron that "so many feelings are going through my head right now." Lochte added that he was "a little hurt, but I came out here. I wanted to do something I'm completely not comfortable with, and I did."

ABC did not immediately return messages seeking comment about the incident.

During the episode, the Olympic medalist performed a foxtrot routine with professional partner Cheryl Burke to "Call Me Irresponsible." They received a combined score from the judges of 24 out of 40.

Lochte and teammates have seen scorn from some since they were involved in an early-morning drunken encounter during the Olympics last month at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They later claimed they were threatened and robbed. United States team officials banned Lochte for 10 months, requiring him to forfeit $100,000 in bonuses and miss the 2017 world championships.