TOKYO — The U.S. men’s basketball team is in a close game in the second half, a semifinal against a tough Australian team that hasn’t lost in the tournament.
Australia, ranked No. 3 in the world, led at the half, 45-42.
The U.S. team, ranked No. 1 in the world, made it to the semifinal after defeating Spain on Tuesday, 95-81, despite a sluggish start.
Kevin Durant led the American scorers with 15 points at the half, while Dante Exum of Australia led his team with 10.
Once again, the United States is playing a team that has more practice together in international tournaments. And it is showing.
The Americans are trying to rewrite their story line from curiously questionable team to strong finisher, if not gold medalist.
After two exhibition losses before the start of the Games, including to Australia, the United States started its Olympic campaign with a loss to France. The Americans mostly cruised through their next two contests — against far weaker opponents, Iran and the Czech Republic — and had some time to establish some rhythm as a group.
The U.S. is 8-0 against Australia in the Olympics.
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