Team USA advanced to the semifinals in the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, defeating Spain in men’s basketball in a close match.
The Americans fell behind in the first quarter but won the next three splits, finishing 95–81 and topping its longtime rival and the No. 2 team in the world.
Kevin Durant led the Americans with 29 points on 10–17 shooting. Jayson Tatum added 13, and Jrue Holiday chipped in 12.
Devin Booker contributed nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists as Team USA overcame Ricky Rubio’s 38 points, the most ever scored against the American men’s team in Olympic competition.
“The second quarter was key for us to tie it up, and then we came out in that third quarter and hit them in the mouth and took control of the game,” Durant told reporters after the game.
The U.S. men’s team uncharacteristically lost two exhibition games in the final days before the Olympics, and dropped its first match in Tokyo to France.
But they’ve won three straight since then to set up a match with the winner of Argentina and Australia.
In the other quarterfinal matches, France took down Italy while Slovenia routed Germany.
The winner of France-Slovenia will face the winner of U.S.–Argentina/Australia in the finals.
“We’ve just got to finish it. Got to finish it,” Durant said. “We’re supposed to be here. For us, it’s about getting the gold.”
The United States has won three straight gold medals, beating Spain in the finals in 2008 and 2012.
They ended with bronze in 2004, prompting a retool of the program that has been successful so far.