USA took revenge on a spirited France side to secure a fourth consecutive Olympic basketball gold, winning 87-82.
The French had ended a 25-game Olympic win streak in the opening game, but a dominant Kevin Durant display saw the US collect a sixteenth gold on the court.
Having already become Team USA’s all-time leading scorer heading into the final, Durant was irrepressible throughout as he shot 29 points on route to his third Olympic title.
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With Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert shooting for 16 apiece, France took the giants to the wire, but could not repeat the heroics of their opening match.
They return home with a silver medal, matching their efforts in 1948 and 2000, and a host of admirers, having impressed many in Tokyo.
Patty Mills made sure Australia took the final place on the podium as he scored 42 points to help the Boomers to a 107-93 defeat of Slovenia in the bronze medal match.
Australia led by a point at the end of the first quarter and took control of the contest in the second, taking an eight-point lead into the half-time break.
Luka Doncic scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Slovenia narrowed their deficit to just three points at one point, but that was as close to victory as the Europeans would get.
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As they had throughout the Games, the US started the gold medal match slowly.
Missing a string of three pointers, errant finishing opened the door for France to move into a six-point lead after five minutes.
So often the saviour, Durant began to get into his groove and dragged the US to a 22-18 lead at the close of the first quarter.
The eleven-time NBA All-Star shot for 12 of the US’s first quarter tally and continued firing into the second, making it six three-pointers from seven attempted as the US stretched their advantage.
By half-time he already had 21 points and the US held a slender five-point lead, Nando de Colo sinking a three-pointer just before the close to keep the French within reach.
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Guerschon Yabusele cut the deficit to two with the first points of the third quarter, before Damian Lillard hit his first three-pointer of the game.
With Durant again at the heart of things, the US threatened to pull away – France calling a timeout at 71-57 to recollect themselves.
Again though, France refused to lie down, Luwawu Cabarrot shooting for three to capitalise on poor US shooting to close the gap to eight points at the close of the third quarter.
Frank Ntilikina of the New York Knicks put the French within three points with five and a half minutes to play.
Durant, yet to score in the final quarter, opened the door for France when he fouled Gobert, but the Utah Jazz star squandered both free throws.
Punishing immediately with a three pointer from Jayson Tatum, the USA moved into a ten-point lead.
With 15 seconds to go and trailing by five, France stole back possession to win a foul and hit two free throws to move within three and tee-up a grandstand finish.
Fittingly, it was Durant who saw the US over the line, drawing a foul and converting two free throws to close the game and secure his third Olympic gold.
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