Team USA made it three consecutive gold medals with success over Serbia in the finals of the 2016 Olympic Games. The defending champs were simply too good in the showpiece game and eased to victory with a commanding 96-66 win.
In clinching the gold, Team USA extended its position as the most successful Olympic nation ever, with 15 gold medals in total. Indeed, the US has won the last three Olympic tournaments and there have only ever been four other winners. Team USA also ensured it continues what is the most dominant run of any nation in any Olympic sport.
After steering itself to the 2016 Olympic Games final with an unbeaten record, Team USA left the best for last. Serbia had no answer for the slick offence and tight defense of the champs and had to be content with a silver medal. The thirty point winning margin was the largest any gold medalist has enjoyed since the USA defeated Yugoslavia in Atlanta 1996.
USA vs. Serbia, 96-66
Team USA has been unblemished in Rio over the last two weeks, although passage through the tournament has not been as serene as many predicted. The favorites and champions have looked below par in some games, and were run close by Australian and France in the Groups. However, Serbia entered the final as an unfancied underdog. The Europeans were not expected to make the showpiece contest, so the task against the USA was destined to be difficult.
And so it proved. An 8-1 run late in the first quarter afforded team USA a 19-15 lead through the first split. The champs stepped on the gas in the second quarter and gathered all the momentum with a 33-14 frame sparked by Kevin Durant’s 18 Q2 points. Through the long break the lead had been extended to 52-29. Serbia was mostly out of the contest and the second half often felt like damage control from the Europeans. Serbia could only score 14 points again in the third act, while the USA poured in 27 to secure a 36 point advantage through thirty minutes (79-43). Serbia scored 23 points in the fourth as the champs eased off, but the game had been concluded long before in terms of a contest.
Kevin Durant powered to a game high 30 points for the winners, while DeMarcus Cousins doubled up with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Klay Thompson added 12 points for the US.
Nemanja Nedovic paced the losing Serbia effort with 14 points, followed by Milan Macvan’s 11 points.