Behind 29 points from Kevin Durant, USA men’s basketball should now extend their streak of having a medal at every single Olympics following a 95-81 win over Spain on Tuesday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
For the Spanish and in perhaps the last game in his incredible international career, Ricky Rubio had 38 points in just 27 minutes on 13/20 shooting from the field. It was an incredible effort, but the depth of the United States was too much to overcome.
The game was tied 43-all at halftime, with Team USA shooting just 4-17 from three-point range at intermission despite a ton of open looks. But in the second half the Americans turned up the defensive intensity, pulling ahead by as much as 14 in the first five minutes of the third quarter while holding the Spaniards without a field goal during that stretch.
But Spain finished the third quarter on an 11-2 run sparked by the recently traded Rubio, and it was 69-63 after 30 minutes. Rubio had 27 points in just 20 minutes after the first three periods. However the USA was able to pull away behind quality fourth quarters from Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum.
For the game the Americans were 36/75 from the floor, and 13/32 from three-point range with just nine turnovers while forcing 17 takeaways from Spain. The US was a 13-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, and a late uncontested lay-in from Durant certainly made a difference to those in the wagering community.
The USA will face the winner of Australia and Argentina, scheduled for later today.