The United States men's basketball team overcame a first-half deficit against Australia on Thursday to win the Olympic semifinal. It won 97-78, turning a 15 point second-quarter deficit into an easy victory. France will face the Americans for the gold medal. France defeated Slovenia and Luka Doncic, 90-89 in the other semifinal matchup. For the bronze, Australia will take on Slovenia.
Kevin Durant, the United States' most successful Olympic scorer, has been a star in American history and was again a major factor in keeping Team USA on track. Durant was 23 points in the game and was an important defensive player. This is how the Americans won the game.
Team USA shot just 2-for-14 at 3 in the first quarter. They then increased the defensive pressure and started creating transition buckets. Over the third and fourth quarters, the Americans shot 7-for-14 shooting from 3, with Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker focusing on cleaner looks.
The fourth quarter was underway and Team USA had scored 34 points. They went from being down 15 to up 19, with a 48-14 run. Although the U.S. continues its slow, sloppy start to games, their depth of talent advantage has proved too great over time.
Jrue Holiday's defense continues receiving the attention it deserves. Holiday's defense was outstanding throughout the NBA playoffs, and especially in the Finals. Holiday played a key role in Team USA's victory over Australia's Patty Mills. Patty Mills was able to get past his defenders to begin the game but was unable to finish it. Holiday scored 15 points on 5-of-14 shots.
Holiday was Team USA's second best player during the Olympics. His defense speaks for themselves, but his aggressiveness on the offensive side, even when shots aren’t going, keeps Americans moving forward. He is relentless on both ends of the court. He finished the game with 11 points and eight assists, eight rebounds as well as two steals against Australia.
Team USA had defeated Australia in the two exhibitions it held in 2019, and 2021, but Team Australia beat them in the actual Olympic games 9-0.
Following their victory over Australia, Team USA star Damian Lillard said that they came to the USA with one goal: to win a medal.