clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Boom! US Crushes Australia, Will Play For Gold

Slow starts are still a concern, but Team USA is very different than it was a few weeks ago.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

United States v Australia Men’s Basketball - Olympics: Day 13
SAITAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 05: Jayson Tatum #10 of Team United States drives to the basket against Jock Landale #13 of Team Australia during the first half of a Men’s Basketball quarterfinals game on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 05, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.
Photo by Charlie Neibergall - Pool/Getty Images

For a while in the first half, it looked like Australia was just going to rip the US a new one. The Boomers were up 41-26 with 5:25 left in the second quarter.

But then things changed.

The US fought back and was one Jayson Tatum three from tying the game at the half 45-45. Still, that was a huge comeback and then the third quarter started.

By the time Jock Landale hit a layup with 6:03 left in the quarter, the US was up 54-47 and never looked back.

The US outscored Australia 29-10 in the third. Go back to when the Aussies had their 15 point lead, and the US put on a 48-14 stretch, mostly on the play of Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday.

The Aussies matched the 23 the US put up in the 4th but since they were already down 19 on the back of that huge mid-game run, it was essentially a tie and the US won 97-78.

All in all, it must be a crushing loss for team and country. The Australian system has been highly competitive with the US approach lately and we’re sure there was huge anticipation back home, especially with the big first-half lead.

On the bright side, the Boomers still have a chance to medal against either France or Slovenia.

The US, on the other hand, will play the winner of that game for gold.

For all the guff that Gregg Popovich took, including some from us, he has gotten this team turned around. The US has won its last four games by 54, 35, 14 and 19.

We’re pretty sure that, given their druthers, they’d rather have another crack at the French.