The U.S. men’s basketball team got its revenge on France, winning the gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics, 87-82.
The Americans held only a seven-point lead with three minutes to go, just as they did in the preliminary game against France, where France went on a run and got the win. The French cut it to three with 10 seconds left on two free throws by Nando De Colo.
Kevin Durant made both of his free throws with 8.8 seconds left to seal the win.
The Americans’ leading scorer was dominant through the first three quarters of the game, finishing with 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting.
“It’s winning time,” Durant said after the game when asked how he came through for the team in the gold medal game. Now a three-time gold medalist, he became the U.S. men’s basketball team’s leading scorer of all time during the Tokyo tournament.
Jayson Tatum added 19 points for the U.S. off the bench, while starting guards Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard each tallied 11 points. Team USA committed only nine turnovers to France’s 18.
For France, Rudy Gobert didn’t miss a shot from the field but went 6-for-13 from the line for 16 points and eight rebounds. Evan Fournier also had 16 points on a poor shooting night, while Guerschon Yabusele had 13. Although the U.S. gave France 29 free throws, France only converted 18 of them.
Team USA got off to a slow start, missing its first eight 3-pointers, but had a 22-18 lead by the end of the first quarter. France had an answer every time the U.S. built a lead, closing the second quarter on a 13-5 run and cutting it to single digits at the end of the third on a 3-pointer by Nicolas Batum.
The American men have now won four straight gold medals. The American women aim to extend their own gold medal streak against Japan at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
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