Kevin Durant is an Olympic gold medalist in men’s basketball for the third time, as the former Texas Longhorns forward led Team USA to a 87-82 win over France on Friday night.
Durant was a huge part of Team USA’s win, as he had 21 points at halftime and finished the game with 29 points. Team USA sorely needed Durant’s production in the first half, as they shot poorly from the 3-point line in the first half. Durant kept the team afloat until the rest of Team USA got their shot going.
He’s been money in gold medal games for Team USA, as Durant had 30 points in his previous two gold medal games in the Olympics.
Durant also had six rebounds and three assists. Durant also made two free throws that clinched the victory for Team USA with 8.8 seconds left in the game, as he gave the US a 87-82 lead.
The victory was a bit of revenge for Team USA, which lost to France in the preliminary round of the games, 83-76.
Team USA has now won four straight gold medals in men’s basketball.
Durant became Team USA’s all-time leading scorer in Olympic history during the Tokyo Games, and with Friday’s win became the second U.S. player to win three gold medals, joining Carmelo Anthony (Anthony has four overall medals, including a bronze). Durant previously won gold medals at the 2012 games in London and the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.
The gold medal isn’t the only good thing happening to Durant this week. On Saturday, the former Longhorn is expected to sign a 4-year, $198 million contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant has had an exceptional season, coming off a 2019-20 in which missed the entire season after a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals. Durant averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game for the Nets, leading them to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, who eventually won the NBA title. That included his 49-point, 17-rebound, 10-assist game against the Bucks in Game 5.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.