Astonishing 24 hours for basketball megastar

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After yet different dilatory start, Team USA did what everyone expected them to do.

Gregg Popovich's men got revenge connected the French after going down to the Europeans successful the opening round astatine the Tokyo Olympics to triumph the golden medal lucifer 87-82 contempt a precocious fightback.

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The French dragged the shortage backmost to 3 points wrong the past infinitesimal aft immoderate uncharacteristic mistakes from the US earlier Kevin Durant made escaped throws to springiness his broadside the borderline wrong the dying seconds.

Kevin Durant of Team USA had 29 points. (Getty)

Durant had 29 points portion Jayson Tatum had 19. Rudy Gobert had 16 points for France.

Only hours earlier the golden medal lucifer tipped-off, Durant had reportedly re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets connected a four-year A$269 cardinal dollar deal, making it an astonishing 24 hours for the 32-year-old.

The pb was treble digits astatine 1 point, with the Americans starring 44-39 astatine halftime aft going down 10-4 successful the opening 4th disconnected the backmost disconnected a horrendous 22 per cent shooting from the tract and 1-9 from beyond the arc.

Late three-pointers from France's Frank Nitlikina and Evan Fournier gave the French a warring accidental earlier Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday extended the Americans pb to support the favourites successful beforehand down the stretch.

Kevin Durant aft the golden medal triumph (Getty)

However, immoderate atrocious free-throw shooting and mediocre turnovers near the doorway unfastened for France but Team USA's people held connected successful the end.

France successful full notched 18 turnovers to conscionable 9 from the Americans, portion 7 missed escaped throws from 13 attempts to Gobert proved important successful the end.

The USA scored 20 points from turnovers, portion France enactment successful 12 from the 9 mistakes by the Americans.

For Popovich, the USA coach, it completes an Olympic travel that started a half-century ago.

He was playing for the United States Air Force Academy and tried unsuccessfully to marque the 1972 US Olympic squad - "the powers that beryllium really selected Doug Collins alternatively of me, it's hard to believe," Popovich joked earlier this summertime — past accepted the task of replacing Mike Krzyzewski arsenic the US manager for this Olympic cycle.

"Being portion of the Olympics has been a dream," Popovich said.

- with AP

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Team United States Head Coach Gregg Popovich cheers connected his squad from the seat during the 2nd fractional of a Men's Basketball Finals crippled betwixt Team United States and Team France connected time 15 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games astatine Saitama Super Arena connected August 07, 2021 successful Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (Getty)
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