On Tuesday, Team USA’s Kevin Durant and Spain’s Ricky Rubio went toe-to-toe, but Durant and Team USA got the victory 95-81 to advance to the Olympic semifinals.
Durant scored 13 of his 29 points in the third quarter, while Rubio scored 38 points. However, Jayson Tatum had 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter to help put Spain away. Jrue Holiday added 12 points, Damian Lillard 11, and Zach LaVine 10 points.
Sergio Rodriguez added 16 points, and Willy Hernangomez 10 points and 10 rebounds for Spain. The Americans improved to 13-0 versus Spain in Olympic action.
“The game is about buckets,” Durant said. “When you see the ball go in the rim, everybody’s got more energy — coaches, players, trainers, everybody. We started making shots, made some 3s, and guys calmed down and made some stops.”
The game was knotted at 43 at halftime, but Team USA started the third quarter on fire and locked down Spain on defense. They hit five 3-pointers and Spain did not make a field goal for almost six minutes to begin the second half.
Team USA seems to be coming together at the right time. After losing three out of their first five games(including exhibition games), they have won three straight.
“I think the potential of this team is endless,” Draymond Green said. “Unfortunately, we (only) got two games left. So, we need to make sure that we’re continuing to get better each and every time we step on the floor, and I think that’s why we’ve done it.”
The U.S. will face Australia in Thursday’s semifinals. Team USA lost to Australia in an exhibition game in July, but they have an opportunity to get revenge at the Olympics.
Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)