Kevin Durant became the all-time leading scorer for the United States men’s basketball team in Olympics play in a win over Czech Republic that clinched a spot in the knockout-round quarterfinals.
Kevin Durant dribbled, eyed up his defender and pulled up to drain the 3-pointer that gave him a place atop the greats.
The Brooklyn Nets’ star became the all-time leading scorer for the United States men’s basketball team in Olympics play Saturday during a 119-84 victory against Czech Republic that clinched a spot in the knockout-round quarterfinals. It was a nice milestone in a career of many, but Durant’s 3 was more important on an immediate level.
You would never guess it by the final score, but Team USA trailed for the first 13 minutes of action and looked headed for more trouble before Durant surpassed Carmelo Anthony and put his team in front for the first time all on one shot.
Playing among NBA All-Stars, Durant, a three-time Olympian, looked like the best player in the world when it was needed. He collected 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists – all team-highs after three quarters – and he didn’t play in the fourth.
The US trailed by as many as 10 points and by seven at the end of the first quarter before Durant, Zach LaVine and Damien Lillard found the outside touch to build a four-point halftime lead.
The game turned to a blowout when the US closed the third quarter on a 16-2 run. The hot hand continued well into the fourth quarter, with the US making 20 of its first 24 shots from the floor in the second half.
Jayson Tatum led the way with 27 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter.
The US finished the group stage 2-1, beating Iran and the Czech Republic after losing to France.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Ryan Dunleavy