Kevin Durant led Team USA to an 87-82 victory over France in the men’s basketball final at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday, delivering the Americans their fourth straight gold medal and the US its 100th medal at the Summer Games in Tokyo.
Durant, who led Team USA to gold medals in 2012 and 2016, scored 21 of his 29 points in the first half. He made the final two free throws for the Americans to complete the victory over France, which had beaten the US in the 2019 World Cup and two weeks ago to start the Olympics.
“We faced some serious hardship,” Durant added, joining Carmelo Anthony as the only three-time gold medalists in men’s basketball. “We just fought our way through it all. I’m delighted we got the job done.”
The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum hit two clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 19 points. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks each contributed 11 points.
Evan Fournier led France with 16 points, although he shot just 5-of-15 from the field. Rudy Gobert led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds.
France will have to settle for silver at the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the setback. In 1948 and 2000, the French national team finished second behind the United States.
The United States already has 100 total medals, 32 of which are gold, from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, far and away the most of any competing delegation. China, which had the most gold medals at the Games (37), is second overall with 81 medals.