SAITAMA, Japan — Kevin Durant led Team USA to a decisive victory over Spain in Olympic men's basketball on Tuesday, August 3, earning a ticket to the semifinals.
The United States were victorious 95-81 despite a valiant 38-point effort from Spain's Ricky Rubio. Spain had a 10 point lead late in the second quarter when the United States came roaring back.
"We drove it to the rim at the end of the second and were able to get our rhythm back a little bit," said Durant, who ended up with 29 points. "I like how we played from the end of the second quarter all the way up to finish the game and that's how winners play ball."
The Saitama Super Arena north of Tokyo was the fullest it has been so far in these spectatorless Games, as athletes, officials and volunteers gathered for what would have been a hot-ticket match.
The United States will move on to the semifinals on Thursday to face the winner of the quarterfinal between Australia and Argentina.
Team USA have looked strong at these Games after the French handed them their first Olympic defeat since 2004. The Americans have historically been the team to beat, with 15 gold medals since 1936, and the players and coaches have made clear they will only be satisfied with one result this time.
"We got to finish it," said Durant, who plays for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. "You know, we're supposed to be here. For us, it's about getting the gold.
US thumps Canada in water polo quarters
Reigning champions the United States blitzed neighbors Canada 16-5 to storm into the semifinals of the women's Olympic water polo competition on Tuesday, keeping their bid for a third straight gold medal on track.
The Americans will face the Russian Olympic Committee team in the first semi-final at Tatsumi Water Polo Centre on Thursday. The ROC edged their quarter-final clash with Australia 9-8.
European champions Spain beat China 11-7 to book their place in the final four, where they will meet Hungary, who beat the Netherlands 14-11 in the other quarter-final.
The U.S., who have dominated women's water polo in recent years, flew out of the blocks against Canada, effectively killing off the contest in the opening minutes.
Captain Maggie Steffens, who broke the all-time Olympic scoring record in their last match, scored twice at the end of the first quarter to give the U.S. a 7-1 lead, which they extended to 11-3 by halftime.
Steffens ended the game with three goals, as did Makenzie Fischer and Alys Williams, while goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson saved 14 of the 17 shots she faced as the U.S. closed out the win in style.
Brazil, Spain advance to men's soccer final
Defending champions Brazil reached the final of the men's Olympic soccer competition on Tuesday, beating Mexico 4-1 on penalties after the game ended goalless after extra time.
Brazil went close to settling the match inside 90 minutes when Richarlison struck the post with a glancing header in the 82nd minute.
Marco Asensio's extra-time goal punched Spain's ticket to the final over host Japan, 1-0.