Blazing to gold: USA finally flexes basketball biceps in finale

The gold medal is a fitting farewell for head coach Mike Krzyzewski because Rio would be the last time he takes the helm for the USA Team.

"I think the key of the game was their defense", Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

The rout capped a brilliant tenure as Team USA head coach for Krzyzewski, who signs off having guided the three consecutive Olympic gold medals and a near flawless 88-1 record in global competition. - The USA's men's basketball team on Sunday confirmed its historic hegemony in basketball, raising to 15 its Olympic titles by drubbing Serbia 96-66 for the gold at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Diana Taurasi and the Americans played almost flawless basketball in Rio, and were never challenged.

Carmelo Anthony won his third gold medal in four Olympic appearances. The win gave Team USA's its 15th Gold in 19 outings.

He has now posted the two highest Olympic scoring totals for an American player with 155 points in Rio and 156 for another gold medal team in London.

Kevin Durant was the leading scorer for the US with 30 points, while Nemanja Nedovic led Serbia with 14 points.

Kevin Durant said his experience in Rio de Janeiro with Team USA provided a needed escape from the backlash he has received after leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors.

Serbia's competitiveness in the opening quarter, which they ended trailing by just four, offered little clue of what was to follow.

It's the first gold medal for Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, and Breanna Stewart. Serbia and France both surpassed 90 points against them, and Australia scored 88, as the team with 10 Olympic newcomers took longer than hoped in grasping worldwide offenses.

Spain kept it from getting out of hand early, sticking with the gold medalists for most of the first half.

The US beat Serbia on the board by 54-33 and led by as many as 41 points.

"To come out there and play as well as we did against a team that had stepped up their play as well, it showed that we came together at the right time", Durant said. Taurasi then hit consecutive 3-pointers - her first points of the game - as the Americans scored 10 straight.

  • Joey Payne