After overcoming a slow start in the Olympic tournament, Team USA dispatched France, 87-82, in the gold medal match on Saturday morning at Saitama Super Arena to win their 16th gold medal in the event and their 4th consecutive.

Team USA did not start their Tokyo campaign pretty, but in the end, the American basketball team ascended to the heights that they were always expected to reach.

The American team started their final game in the Tokyo Olympics, unlike any of their games. Team USA looked far more cohesive and confident compared to their opening, wherein they lost to France in their first match of the competition.

According to The New York Times, Team USA had the luxury of having Kevin Durant on their team. In the first twenty minutes of action, Durant had a 21-point performance in the first half that pushed the U.S. to a 44-39 lead over France.

It was the third period when Team USA extended their lead. However, the French team was always able to orchestrate a run to narrow down the lead of Team USA. 

France was able to force some timely stops to stop the bleeding caused by Team USA. However, it was the defense of Team USA in the gold medal match that created the difference. 

Team USA forced more turnovers to France, which were translated to points on the other end of the court. While displaying good defense, the U.S. men's basketball team also handled the ball well and managed to commit less turnovers which gave them more chances at the basket.

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Olympic Bronze Match

Australia arrived in the third-place match after losing, 97-78, to Team USA in the semis. They would be facing Slovenia in the battle for bronze after the Luka-led team fell in a heartbreaker loss against France.

The main attraction for casual fans would be the chance to watch Luka Doncic getting back to work in what has been a scintillating Olympic debut. Doncic recorded his third Olympic triple-double ever, and it was the first performance since LeBron James in 2012, who had 16 points, 10 rebounds, 18 assists against France.

'The Block' in Olympics

The French team almost slipped into the championship game with only a 90-89 win over Slovenia. The much-needed last-second block from Nicolas Batum on Klemen Prepelic's layup attempt sealed the result for a finals contention.

Rudy Gobert, the 7-foot-1 center, has been a vital presence for France in the paint. Gobert finished with nine points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks in the game against Slovenia, but they failed against Team USA in the finals. Gobert missed most of his free throws in the crucial gold medal match.

READ MORE: Olympic Basketball Semis: Team USA Overpowers Australia in 2nd Half to Reach Gold Medal Match

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Written by: Jess Smith

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