USA Basketball Uses Dominant Third Quarter to Advance to Gold Medal Game

The Americans get revenge on Australia.

Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Devin Booker added 20 as the United States beat Australia 97-78 in the Olympic semifinals to advance to the gold medal game. The US will face the winner of France and Slovenia with the gold medal on the line. Former Syracuse star Jerami Grant played just two minutes and did not accumulate any statistics. 

Despite the final score, this was not an easy victory for the United States. Australia led by as many as eight in the first quarter, and a late three pointer gave them a six point lead entering the second. Australia extended the lead to 15 in the second quarter, but a late first half run trimmed it to three entering halftime. This after Australia beat Team USA 91-83 in exhibition play last month. 

Unfortunately for Australia, the third quarter happened. USA started the third on a 12-0 run to take control of the game. Jrue Holiday and Kevin Durant had their finger prints all over the spurt. Holiday scored the first five points and Durant the final seven, capped by a three pointer with 6:47 left in the quarter. After Australia trimmed the lead back to six, Team USA went on a 15-2 run over the final 2:50 of the quarter. That run was led by Devin Booker, who scored eight of the 15 points. 

The United States would cruise in the fourth

Durant added nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to his game high 23 points. Jrue Holiday finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Khris Middleton scored 11 points off the bench. 

Australia was led by Patty Mills, who scored 15 points and dished out eight assists but was just 5-14 from the field. Dante Exum added 14 points off the bench.