Team USA progressed to the Tokyo 2020 men’s basketball gold medal game after downing a valiant Australia in their match-up on Thursday. It was heartbreak for the Boomers as they fell to their fifth Olympic semi-final defeat across five decades. The Australians must now regroup for the bronze medal clash on Saturday, as they continue their search for the nation’s first international medal in men’s basketball.
The Americans now face France, who beat them in the teams’ opening game, for gold. The French beat Slovenia 90-89 in a thrilling semi-final that went down to the last play.
Stretching back to 1964, Australia and the US have met eight times in Olympic competition. The closest the Boomers had come to defeating the Americans was two 10-point losses, in 2004 and 2016. Victories for Australia in a 2019 friendly and in a pre-Tokyo 2020 warm-up game last month offered some hope – as did a positive first-half performance. But ultimately the Americans’ star power was too much for the Patty Mills-led Boomers, losing 97-78.