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Team USA goes down 15 to Australia, wins by 19 anyway in Olympic men’s basketball semifinal

The Americans flipped the switch, and will play France or Slovenia for the gold medal.

Kevin Durant of the USA takes on the defence of Nic Kay of Australia during the Basketball semi final match between Australia and the USA on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 05, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Behind another outstanding performance from Kevin Durant, Team USA went on a 48-14 run to turn what was a 15-point deficit in the first half into an 97-78 win over Australia in the semifinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With 5:23 left in the second quarter, Dante Exum’s layup gave Australia a 41-26 lead. At the end of the third quarter, it was 74-55 Team USA. The Americans missed their first 10 three-point attempts, but finished 9/28 from downtown after getting better outside looks by driving to the rim more effectively.

Kevin Durant was the superstar again, eviscerating Australia at will on clearouts whenever the US needed a basket. He led all scorers with 23 points on 10/19 shooting despite being just 1/7 from three-point range, and also led in rebounds with nine. Devin Booker added 20 points on 7/10 from the field, while Patty Mills likely finished his last chance for a gold medal for Australia by leading his team with 15 points.

The United States will play the winner of France and Slovenia at 10:30 p.m. Friday in search of their fourth-consecutive gold medal. Team USA has now won a medal in all 15 Olympic basketball tournaments.

Team USA covered the 12.5-point closing spread at DraftKings Sportsbook, their fourth-consecutive cover in Tokyo.