Australia's hopes of playing for a gold medal in men's basketball have been ended after a stunning second half turnaround for Team USA in their semi-final showdown on Thursday.
The Americans trailed by as much as 15-points midway through the match but showed why they are the world's best basketball team as they stormed home to a 97-78 victory.
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Winners of the last three Olympic Games basketball tournaments and six of the last seven, Team USA showed their class when it mattered most.
The Boomers had never beaten Team USA in eight previous meetings at the Olympic Games but dared to dream after a blistering start.
The Aussies were playing out of their skins in the first two quarters, with the Aussies going into halftime with a 45-42 lead.
Australia were up by 15 points at one stage before a timeout from the Americans turned the game on its head.
Team USA went on a 14-4 run to whittle Australia's lead down to three at the main break and it proved an ominous sign of things to come.
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 5, 2021
From leading at halftime, the Aussies soon found themselves chasing the game as turnovers and some hot shooting from the Americans saw the favourites stamp their authority on the contest.
Kevin Durant led the Americans with 23 points and was able to rest for much of the second half as the game got out of control.
Devin Booker added 20 and Jrue Holiday bagged 11 points.
The US played much better defence, prohibiting the Australians from taking wide-open threes or cutting unencumbered to the net.
Patty Mills scored 15 and Danta Exum had 14 for the Aussies, who many thought were the American’s stiffest competition in Tokyo.
Aussies gutted as Team USA steamrolls Boomers
However, Team USA showed why they've won 16 gold medals in 19 Olympic appearances by outscoring the Aussies by 37 points after falling behind by 15.
The unfortunate second half collapse left Aussie fans shattered on social media.
— Bernie Coen (@berniecoen) August 5, 2021
— Angry Angry Middle Aged Man (@AAMAM180) August 5, 2021
So proud of the Boomers. Bronze would be a magnificent achievement. Well done Boomers.
— CHEC (@tonychec) August 5, 2021
Really gutted by that result. I honestly thought the Boomers could pull off the upset against a star studded Team USA.
Feels like déjà vu.
We’ll have to beat Luka Doncic’s Slovenia 🇸🇮 or an unbeaten France 🇫🇷 in a 🥉 playoff to claim our maiden #olympics medal. #Tokyo2020
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) August 5, 2021
— Lauz (@LauzBURNS) August 5, 2021
— Hannah (@hclaire29) August 5, 2021
The Boomers will now face the winner of the other semi-final between Slovenia and France in the bronze medal game.
Chasing a maiden Games basketball medal, Australia were flying when Jock Landale's dunk made it 41-26 with five minutes to play in the first half.
But the wheels fell off in a 48-14 run that included 20 straight US points, leaving Australia to face the loser of France and Slovenia for their chance at winning the country's first Olympic Games medal in men's basketball.
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