Kevin Durant led Team USA into Saturday morning's preliminary matchup against the Czech Republic. Durant was in full stride when the team desperately needed it.
Durant is — if not one of — the most important players and leaders on the court for this team and it showed en route to a resounding 119-84 victory over the Czechs for the second win in Tokyo for the United States.
The former Longhorn’s performance of 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists was the spark that burst the Americans out of the gate in the second half. After leading by four going into intermission, the team proceeded to score 72 in the final two quarters in a dominant display, including a team-high 27 points off the bench for Jayson Tatum.
It was the world-class skill of Durant that got them there, as he became Team U.S.A's all-time leading Olympic scorer with 354 career points scored in his third appearance at the games. He passes Carmelo Anthony's previous mark of 336 points, which he set back in 2016.
Here's the shot that gave Durant the scoring record.
The new scoring record from Durant is quite impressive considering he only needed 19 career games to reach this point. It took Anthony 31 games over four Olympic appearances to set the previous high.
Durant's magnificent skill as a bucket-getter allowed him to add-on to other all-time Team U.S.A lists as well.
His 18.6 points per game is second in U.S history behind Adrian Dantley's 19.3 average. Durant's 66 three-point makes are an American Olympic record, as Anthony is unsurprisingly second on the list with 57 made threes.
And even more incredible? Durant has still managed to retain the seventh-best U.S Olympic career average from long range at a 52 percent clip despite having the second-most three point attempts in U.S history (125).
The other six players ahead of him on the list have a combined 93 attempts.
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To put that into perspective, Anthony has the most three point attempts (139) in the history of Team U.S.A, yet doesn't even crack into the top 10 for the team's all-time three-point percentage.
Durant tacked on three free throws, pushing him into first in team history for makes at the line (54). He continued to jump up the historical Olympic record books for the Americans in every facet and there's still more basketball to be played in Tokyo.
Often considered one of the best scorers in the sport, Durant did it from all spots on the court. His signature walk-up three. The crisp post-fadeaway. At 6-10”, his skills are arguably top in the game today
Saturday's win guaranteed the U.S a spot in the knockout stage of the tournament, as the wait begins for the conclusion of the other preliminary games to see who they'll play in the Men's Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Team U.S.A is just getting started and will have a tough road ahead of them in the coming days against teams stacked with other NBA talent.
If Durant and Co. keep up what they did on Saturday, another gold medal could be easy pickings.
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