Just a friendly reminder: the Nets still have the best player in the world. He is Kevin Durant and we know who he is. KD dominated the Olympic quarter-final game between Team USA and Spain in ways Nets fans are quite familiar with and the Americans beat the Spaniards, 95-81
It was an unruly battle between the two teams that have met in the gold medal game in two of the past three Olympics. This time, it wasn’t gold that was on the line. A trip to the medal podium.
Although the U.S entered the half knotted up at 43, it was a tale of four quarters. Team USA broke loose in the third quarter behind Durant’s 13 points in the frame and their tenacious defense, holding Spain scoreless for nearly six minutes. Topped off by a steady fourth quarter, Team USA advanced to the semifinals. Spain will leave Tokyo
Durant paved the way for Team USA with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 shooting from three in 31 minutes of action. The Nets superstar notched four rebounds, three steals, and two assists as well in his impressive performance.
“The game is about buckets. 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,” Durant said.
Jayson Tatum contributed a powerful performance off the bench with 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes of play followed by Jrue Holiday with 12 points in 24 minutes of play.
Although the game was primarily about bucket-getting, rebounding and snatching steals provided huge value to Team USA. Overall, the team combined for 14 steals, led by Devin Booker and Bam Adebayo with five each.
Spain was led by Ricky Rubio with a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from three. The new Cleveland Cavalier didn’t get too much help scoring the ball with Sergio Rodriguez tallying 16 points and Willy Hernangomez with 10 points, both off the bench.
Team USA will face either Argentina or Australia in the semifinals on Thursday. Although losing to Australia in the exhibition round, the U.S is 8-0 against the Boomers and 7-1 against Argentina in games that count..
“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.”
- U.S. Men Advance To Olympic Semifinals With 95-81 Win Over Spain - Steve Drumwright - USA Basketball
- With Durant on His Game, U.S. Storms Into Olympic Semifinals - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Durant scores 29, US reaches Olympic semis, tops Spain 95-81 - Tim Reynolds - AP