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  USA cagers nail gold again

USA cagers nail gold again

AFP
Published : Aug 22, 2016, 11:38 pm IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2016, 11:38 pm IST

Completing a third consecutive unbeaten run to Olympic gold, the United States captured a sixth Games title with NBA talent in seven tries by routing Serbia 96-66 in the final.

Completing a third consecutive unbeaten run to Olympic gold, the United States captured a sixth Games title with NBA talent in seven tries by routing Serbia 96-66 in the final.

Kevin Durant scored 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins added 13 points and 15 rebounds as the US squad cruised to a 15th overall men’s basketball gold medal, every US player scoring in the romp that decided the last gold medal in Rio.

The Americans stretched their Olympic win streak to 25 games and overall decade-long winning run to 76 games.

US forward Carmelo Anth-ony became the first man to win three Olympic basketball gold medals.

He was on the 2004 team that settled for bronze but returned for 2008 and 2012 triumphs, although he has no plans to play in 2020 at Tokyo.

“It was a special moment for me,” Anthony said of winning his third gold. “I know this is the end. This is it for me.

“I committed to this in ‘04. I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best. I’m here today three gold medals later.”

It was the farewell game for US coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will be replaced by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

A Serbian team that tested the US squad before falling 94-91 in a group stage game — the closest call in the Americans’ Olympic win streak — stayed close for barely a quarter before the NBA playmakers began going wild.

Serbia led 14-11 with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter when the Americans, who opened the game shooting only 5-of-17 from the floor, began what would become a 32-8 run to break open the contest.

Durant had 14 points in the pivotal spurt, including a spectacular steal and fast break slam dunk that brought the loudest roar from USA fans.

For the game, Durant shot 10-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range.

Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro