USA 119, Czech Republic 84
What went down
The USA men’s basketball team pulled off another dominant win on Saturday, this time against the Czech Republic, 119-84.
Czech Republic started the game strong behind Blake Schlib who scored 11 points early. The Czechs shot 67 percent from the field, ending the first period with a 25-18 lead.
Team USA then responded with a series of baskets to open up the second quarter, quickly snatching the lead with over six minutes remaining. Czech Republic held them within a few possessions, staying close at halftime, 47-43.
After the break, the USA’s offense started to heat up. They moved the ball a lot better and hit shots from downtown possession after possession, breaking the game wide open. There was nothing Czech Republic could do to stop the onslaught as Team USA cruised to the victory.
Kevin Durant finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for Team USA, which now advances to the quarterfinals of the basketball event.
The Czechs played good interior defense but were unable to limit the USA’s 3-point shooting. Team USA made 13-of-28 triples by the end of the third, while Czech only made 5-of-14.
This spelled the difference between the two teams. Czech focused on clamping down in the paint, while the Americans wanted to space the floor as far as they could. Team USA’s strategy proved to be effective as they outscored Czech Republic 35-17 in the deciding quarter.
🇺🇸 @usabasketball outscores Czech Republic 72-41 in the 2nd half to pick up the W and advance to the Quarterfinals!#USABMNT: 119— NBA (@NBA) July 31, 2021
Czech Republic: 84
Kevin Durant: 23 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST
Jayson Tatum: 27 PTS, 5 3PM
Zach LaVine: 13 PTS, 3 3PM#Tokyo2020 #Basketball pic.twitter.com/J2ywNIk6F5
The young Jayson Tatum came up huge against the Czech Republic. He came off the bench and led the team with a game-high 27 points, including five 3s, in only his third game in the Olympics.
What he said
Everyone knows how special Kevin Durant is, but setting a new USA Basketball record had never crossed his mind.
“I never really thought about (breaking the record). There’s so many great players, and I’m just happy I’m part of something special.”
Durant already has two gold medals (2012 and 2016) and was the U.S. team’s leading scorer in the past two Olympics. In this edition of the Games, he is averaging 16.3 points and 4.3 assists so far.
What’s in a number?
Kevin Durant is now the all-time leading scorer in the United States men’s basketball Olympic history with a total of 354 points in just 19 games. He is followed by Carmelo Anthony (336), LeBron James (273 points), David Robinson (270), and Michael Jordan (256).
With that bucket, @KDTrey5 becomes the men's all-time leading scorer in Team USA @Olympics history, passing @carmeloanthony 🇺🇸— FIBA #Tokyo2020 (@FIBA) July 31, 2021
Is KD the best scorer in history? 🔥#Tokyo2020 | #Basketball pic.twitter.com/gUvHrkGGCQ
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