Celtics

How Tatum helped Team USA beat Australia in Olympic semifinal

Celtics

Jayson Tatum has guaranteed himself a medal at his first Olympic Games.

The United States men's basketball team rallied after a slow start to blow past Australia 97-78 in Thursday morning's semifinal and advance to the gold medal game at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 points, as Team USA went on a massive 48-14 run starting midway through the second quarter that had erased a 15-point deficit by the third quarter.

Tatum played a key role in that run, hitting three 3-pointers to finish with nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. The Boston Celtics star also added three rebounds, two assists, one steal and a pair of blocks while finishing as a plus-10.

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Patty Mills, who was on the Celtics' radar as a free agent but is joining the Brooklyn Nets, dropped 15 points for Australia while aiding the Boomers' hot start. But Team USA held a commanding 19-point lead by the end of the third quarter and never looked back.

The Americans will have their hands full in the gold medal game Saturday against France, which earned a thrilling victory over Slovenia in the other semifinal Thursday morning. Evan Fournier and the French handed Team USA its first Olympic loss since 2004 with a 83-76 victory last Sunday.

Check out more highlights from Team USA's win over Australia on NBC Sports' YouTube channel.