Basketball

Durant leads fightback against Boomers as US reach final

Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Devin Booker added 20 to power three-time defending champions the United States past Australia 97-78 yesterday and into an Olympic men's basketball final against France.

The Americans were 24-18 behind after the first quarter and 45-42 adrift at half-time, but they stormed back during a dominant third period to stay on track for a fourth consecutive gold medal.

It was revenge for Gregg Popovich's men, who had crashed to Patty Mills' Boomers in their past two meetings, including a demoralising 91-83 defeat in Las Vegas last month.

They also lost 98-94 in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup in Melbourne.

But when it comes to the Olympics, the US are dominant and stretched their lead over Australia to 9-0.

Said Durant: "We knew Australia would come out fast and hit us with a nice punch... We've been down 15 in games before and came back."

Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, France pipped Slovenia 90-89. - AFP

Basketball