Kevin Durant is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, and he’s brought his generational shooting prowess to the Olympic stage over the last nine years.
On Saturday, Durant became the top American scorer in Olympic history, passing Carmelo Anthony’s mark of 336 points. The Brooklyn Nets superstar moved past Anthony with a 3-pointer in the second quarter in Saturday’s Group A contest against the Czech Republic. He finished the contest with a game-high 23 points, putting him at 354 for his Olympic career.
Durant also passed Anthony’s record for most field goals made by an American men’s basketball player at the Olympics. He already held a U.S. Olympic record coming into Tokyo, setting the best mark for individual competition scoring average (19.5 points per game in 2012).
The scoring record wasn’t the only history on the line for Durant. If the U.S. can win the Olympic title, it would give Durant his third Olympic gold medal, tying Anthony for the most in USA Basketball history.
The U.S. men’s basketball team got off to a rougher than expected start ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, losing two of their four exhibition games, and then kicked off the Olympic tournament by falling to France in their first preliminary game 83-76. Team USA’s roster is filled with elite NBA talent but it is limited in Olympic experience, with only three players from previous U.S. Olympic teams. As Saturday showed, Durant playing at a world-class level could go a long way toward helping his team bring home gold for a fourth straight time.
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