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Kevin Durant leads Group USA over France; fourth consecutive gold for Individuals

The U.S. males’s basketball staff received its fourth consecutive gold medal Saturday after narrowly defeating France 87-82, extending the Individuals’ second-longest Olympic streak since 1968. 

Kevin Durant dominated the court docket, scoring 29 factors, with Tayson Tatum including 19 and Damian Lillard and Jrue Vacation every scoring 11. Durant now joins Carmelo Anthony as the one three-time males’s basketball gold medalists in Olympic historical past.

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“Being a part of the Olympics has been a dream,” head coach Gregg Popovich mentioned.

France, which has misplaced all three of its gold medal matches to the U.S., began the primary quarter off with an early lead however robust defensive play by the Individuals slowly chipped away and the French by no means took the lead once more. 

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Shaky begin

Rocked early on by COVID absences, Group USA started in Tokyo on shaky floor, shedding each of its exhibition video games adopted by a loss to France within the Olympic opener. After preventing their means by the group stage, the Individuals gained momentum – with the 32-year-old Durant main the way in which. 

United States' Kevin Durant (7) drives around France's Rudy Gobert (27) during men's basketball gold medal game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (Associated Press)

United States’ Kevin Durant (7) drives round France’s Rudy Gobert (27) throughout males’s basketball gold medal recreation on the 2020 Summer time Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (Related Press)

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Saturday’s victory marked Group USA’s longest profitable streak in males’s basketball in a long time. They beforehand received gold in every of this system’s first seven tournaments from 1936 by 1968.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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