Kevin Durant leads U.S. to gold in men’s basketball at Tokyo Olympics

United States' Kevin Durant (7) celebrates after a score during men's basketball gold medal game against France at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).

Kevin Durant lead the United States men’s basketball team to its fourth straight Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Saturday, defeating France 87-82.

The win is also the third in a row for Durant, who became the highest scoring American player in Olympic history during these Summer Games.

Team USA has now won a total of 16 Olympic gold medals.

The U.S. managed to get its revenge on France, who won their first face-off at the start of the Games 83-76.

The French led early in the final but the U.S. quickly surpassed them thanks to a surge from Durant, who scored 29 points overall and six rebounds. The U.S. was leading by double digits in the third quarter, enough to hold off a French offensive in the fourth.

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Jayson Tatum clocked 19 points and seven rebounds, the second highest point earner on the U.S. side.

Rudy Gobert’s 16 points and eight rebounds and Evan Fournier’s 16 made them the top scorers for France, which won the silver medal for the third time and continued its gold medal drought.

France’s last two silver medals were also earned in games won by the U.S., in 1948 and 2000.

The championship attracted the biggest crowd yet to the arena north of Tokyo in these Games, with the bottom bowl of seats about half full of athletes, officials, media and volunteers in place of fans due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Slovenia will play Australia in the bronze medal match later in the day.

The U.S. women’s basketball team is set to play for the gold as well this weekend, facing Japan on Sunday.

–With files from Reuters

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Team USA men’s basketball coach Gregg Popovich has angry exchange with reporter after U.S. drops 2nd straight

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