Tokyo Olympics

Team USA sends Spain home, reaches Olympic men’s basketball semis

Delfin Dioquino
Team USA sends Spain home, reaches Olympic men’s basketball semis

NEXT ROUND. Kevin Durant and Team USA advance to the final four of the Tokyo Olympics men's basketball tournament.

Sergio Perez/Reuters

Kevin Durant and Team USA use a strong second-half showing to withstand a 38-point outburst from Ricky Rubio and eliminate Spain in the quarterfinals

Team USA put to waste a sterling performance from Ricky Rubio as it gave Spain the boot following a 95-81 win to reach the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday, August 3.

Rubio erupted for 38 points to lead the Spanish, but the Americans withstood his outburst with a strong second-half showing as they remained in the running for a fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Kevin Durant starred for Team USA anew with 29 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals to lead five American players in double figures.

Team USA will face the winner between Australia and Argentina in the semifinals.

Jayson Tatum backstopped Durant with 13 points and 3 rebounds, Jrue Holiday chimed in 12 points and 5 assists, while Damian Lillard put up 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

After a seesaw first half that ended in a 43-43 deadlock, USA opened the floodgates as they rained five three-pointers on Spain in a 22-6 run for a 65-49 lead – its biggest advantage of the game.

The Spanish had to answers for Holiday during that stretch, with the newly minted NBA champion unloading 11 points off three triples in that tide-changing run.

Spain bridged the gap to 4 points early in the fourth quarter, 65-69, but Team USA pulled away for good with a 12-1 blitz.

Zach LaVine also made his presence felt in the win with 10 points.

While the Americans distributed the scoring, Spain had limited options on offense, with Sergio Rodriguez and Willy Hernangomez being the only two other Spanish players in twin digits with 16 and 10 points, respectively.

The Scores

USA 95 – Durant 29, Tatum 13, Holiday 12, Lillard 11, LaVine 10, Booker 9, Adebayo 5, Green 4, Middleton 2, Grant 0.

Spain 81 – Rubio 36, Rodriguez 16, Hernangomez 10, Claver 8, Llull 6, Garuba 3, Gasol P. 0, Fernandez 0, Gasol M. 0, Abalde 0, Abrines 0.

Quarters: 19-21, 43-43, 69-63, 95-81

– Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.