The deep reservoir of talent, the extended periods of teamwork and the brilliance of Warriors forward Kevin Durant were more than enough for the U.S. men’s national team to run away with the gold.
After a modest start Sunday, Team USA pulled itself together behind Durant and flashed the anticipated dominance, rolling to a 96-66 victory over Serbia to take the gold medal in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Americans went on a 31-8 run spanning the first and second quarters, overcoming a 14-12 deficit late in the first quarter to take a 43-22 lead with 4:20 left in the half. Durant scored 14 of his game-high 30 points during that stretch.
While Warriors guard Klay Thompson tossed in 12 points, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins played his best game of the tournament, coming off the bench to deliver 13 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and two steals in only 17 minutes.
Nine days after allowing Serbia to shoot 51.7 percent from the floor while squeaking out a 94-91 victory, Team USA cranked up the intensity over the final three quarters and limited the Serbs to 38.2 percent.
After managing only three assists in a lethargic opening quarter, Team USA posted 21 over the final three quarters and left the Serbs gasping. The Americans also owned the glass, with a 54-33 rebounding advantage.
Team USA, which played below potential for most of the preliminary round, saved its best for last, completing the Rio Games with an 8-0 record to win Olympic gold for the third consecutive time.
How the Warriors fared:
Durant: 30 points (10-of-19 shooting from the field, 5-of-11 from beyond the arc), four assists, three rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He started at forward and played 30 minutes.
Draymond Green: 2 points (1-of-3) and one rebound. The forward played eight minutes off the bench.
Thompson: 12 points (5-of-11, 2-of-6), three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He started at guard and played 22 minutes.