Duke basketball: Team USA, Jayson Tatum advance to gold-medal game

Former Duke basketball wing Jayson Tatum (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball wing Jayson Tatum (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball wing Jayson Tatum is on his way to the gold-medal game. 

It was a befuddling start for Team USA and former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum in the semifinals of the Olympics against Australia on Thursday afternoon in Tokyo.

Australia, who defeated the Americans in an exhibition in late July, jumped out to an early 15-point lead in the second quarter behind scorching shooting from the Aussies and ice-cold shooting from Team USA.

However, a late first-half push brought the United States to within three of Australia at halftime, and it was all USA once the second half started as the Americans outscored the Boomers in the third quarter, 32-10.

After a late fourth-quarter push to keep its hopes of a gold medal alive, Team USA held off Australia in its 97-78 victory.

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Despite the victory, former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum did not have his best performance in the semifinals, with just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

Tatum also added three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks.

Kevin Durant led the charge with 23 points for Team USA while Devin Booker chipped in 20 points.

Duke basketball star looking forward to epic gold-medal matchup

Team USA will have two options for its gold medal game, and either of the two scenarios will draw a lot of viewers.

The other semifinal is between Slovenia and France.

Slovenia is lead by NBA superstar Luka Doncic while France defeated Team USA in the first game in the group stages of this Olympics.

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Either Doncic will try and dethrone the Americans’ success in men’s basketball or France will try and do the impossible and defeat Team USA twice in the same Olympics in order to win the gold.

The loser of the Slovenia vs. France matchup will play Australia in the bronze medal game on Saturday, August 7 at 7:00am EST.

Jayson Tatum and Team USA will be back on the floor for the gold-medal game on Friday, August 6 at 10:30pm EST.

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