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Czechs Cashed: Team USA In Medal Round

Suddenly the US appears to be on a roll

United States v Czech Republic Men’s Basketball - Olympics: Day 8
SAITAMA, JAPAN - JULY 31: Jayson Tatum #10 of Team United States drives to the basket against Czech Republic during the second half of a Men’s Basketball Preliminary Round Group A game on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on July 31, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Behind big games from Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum and beat the Czechs 119-84.

Durant had 23 points, eight boards and two assists while Tatum had 27 off the bench on 10-16 from the floor.

The US also scored 27 points off of 15 turnovers, eliminated the fast break for the Czechs, holding them to just two points there.

So that makes two blowouts in a row after the dismal game against France and this team has to be feeling better about itself. Jrue Holiday, after the game, even said “looked easy didn’t it?”

However it didn’t start off that way.

The Czechs went up 9-2 and were up 25-18 after the first quarter. But the US made it up and was up by four and ripped the game open in the second half, outscoring the Czechs 72-41.

The medal round draw will be on Sunday so we won’t know who Team USA plays until tomorrow but this team has to be happy about the last two games and coach Gregg Popovich has to be happy about the play of not just Durant and Tatum but also guards Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday. Holiday has amped up the defensive culture and Lillard seems to be settling into a role where he’s not necessarily the gunslinger every night but we know he can light it up at will.

So now you have to guard three great scorers.

Incidentally, congratulations to Durant who became the All-time Olympic scoring champ for the US with 354 points. After the game, he pointed to Tatum and said that that was the guy who was going to break his record.