The 2016 Olympics didn’t go as smoothly as most had expected for Team USA. The team struggled against less talented teams, had a few to close to call games looked more vulnerable than most had expected.
But ultimately, none of that mattered. On Sunday against Serbia, the Americans dominated the game from the second quarter on en route to a 96-66 win and the gold medal.
Kevin Durant lead Team USA with 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins added 13. Kyrie Irving, who started at point guard, finished with four points on just 1-6 shooting. He also dished out four assists in 17 minutes. Nemanja Nedovic led the Serbians with 14 points while Nuggets center Nikola Jokic added six.
The Americans, who also beat Serbia 94-91 in group play, fell behind by two early and only lead by four at the end first quarter while shooting 35 percent from the field. But after they went down by two, Team USA went on a 40-15 run to put them in full control of the game. By halftime, they lead by 23.
The second half was ultimately more of the same. Team USA led by as many as 41 during the second half and were able to sit Durant, Irving and others for the final portion of the game. While the Serbians tried to string baskets together, the bench celebrated what was by then an inevitable win,
Team USA’s gold medal is America’s 45th gold medal and 120th medal overall. With the medal win, Irving joins only Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen as the only players to win an NBA title and gold medal in the same year.