On Saturday morning, the USA Basketball men’s national team defeated France, 87-82 to win the Gold Medal in the 2020 Olympics. This is the fourth consecutive gold medal for the Americans and the second silver medal overall for Les Bleus.
Team USA was able to each double digit leads in the middle of the second quarter and led by as many as 14 in the third quarter. However, France was always able to keep things interesting to the very end. When the French were losing by double digits in the second quarter, they quickly made a run to make the halftime score 44-42 for the USA. And though they were down 71-57 at one point in the third quarter, they were still able to get the deficit down to single digits time and again.
Despite France keeping things interesting, the Americans still led for over 31 minutes in this game, thanks to them forcing Les Bleus to commit 18 turnovers while only committing 9 themselves.
For Team USA, Kevin Durant led their scorers with 29 points, capping off an amazing run where he scored at least 23 points in each of his last four games. Jayson Tatum added 19 points.
For France, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier scored 16 points each.
With the Americans winning the Gold Medal, they will now focus their attention on two things: qualifying for the 2023 FIBA World Cup and defending their FIBA AmeriCup championship in 2022. Unlike past Olympic cycles, a gold medal does NOT give them an automatic berth to the next World Cup.
As for the AmeriCup, the Americans brought a team of G-League and European league players in the last tournament in 2017 and for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers. It’s likely that they will do this again for the World Cup qualifier games during rounds that happen in the middle of the NBA season. That’s because NBA players from any country are not allowed to take breaks to be with national teams for any qualifiers.
Congratulations Team USA!