Durant was once again the alma-mater of Team USA as he threw the team on his back in the comeback in the third quarter, after losing the entire first half.
The United States will fight for its fourth consecutive gold in men’s basketball by qualifying for the final after beating Australia (97-78), this Thursday in Saitama, and will play on Saturday for the gold against France.
Australia, which reached the semifinals unbeaten, will remain in this round again (fourth in 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2016) and will have the chance to win their first medal in the match for third place.
For the North American team its leader Kevin Durant shone again, with 23 points. He was not successful from the triple, 2/7 but he signed 9/12 in shots of two and threw the team on his back in the third quarter comeback, after losing the entire first half.
He was backed by Jrue Holiday, the most consistent of his team in the tournament (11 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists) and Devin Booker, with his best game in Tokyo, in which he scored 20 points.
Unstoppable in the first 15 minutes, Australia missed a better performance from Patty Mills, who finished with 15 points but failed to appear in the North American reaction. Dante Exum contributed 12 and Jock Landale 11.
A dreamy quarter of an hour
This Thursday Australia started in the best way. He got to be 15 points ahead against a ‘Team USA’ who was not able to score once on the counterattack in the first half and who did not hit in his first 11 triples.
The oceanic team had signed the initial 20 dreamed minutes, although the NBA partial in the last 5 threw their work from the previous 15 to the side.
The United States rallied the three points behind at the beginning of the third quarter with two baskets from Holiday and chained a 9-0 run.
As in the previous duels, the players led by Gregg Popovich had left the locker room ready to push their physical work on defense to the limit against an Australia that took four minutes to score their first basket.
And Durant continued with his display of long range shots and some triple, accompanied by a Devin Booker who had his best scoring minutes in the tournament (a total of 15 points).
From being 15 points under to 19 over at the end of the third quarter, in which they passed over the ‘Boomers’ with a partial score of 32-10.
Australia was blocked and Zach Lavine was having fun with a pair of contest dunks. With four minutes to go, Boomers coach Brian Goorjian sat down his best players and began to think about the bronze fight. (D)