Basketball in the Olympics for Tokyo is officially history. The GOATs, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi now have five gold medals. That is the most of any USA Basketball player in the Olympics ever. Brittney Griner finished with 30 points, a new USA record. The USA women now have won seven straight gold in basketball.
The US began fast and furious jumping out to a 12-4 lead. The US the obvious size advantage and started three bugs in the starting lineup. Six foot nine Brittney Griner was lights out from the center position. Japan took a timeout trailing 14-5. Six foot four A’ja Wilson and and Breanna Stewart also made their presence felt. With no three second violation in International play, the bigs could sit in the paint and bat balls away all night long, and make easy lay ups. The US started 9/12 as opposed to 2/13 for Japan. However, Japan picked their game up in a hurry. They closed the gap slightly, but a wide open three by Jewel Loyd ended the quarter with a 23-14 US lead.
Japan came out fast and continued with their fast pace style led by the American head coach Tom Hovas. He substituted frequently to keep that aggressive turbo style up. Japan also came out firing from way back. Griner continued to have success. Japan called a timeout trailing 46-32, but Japan punched back. The size advantage continued to pay dividends. The US had the halftime lead 50-39.
It’s worthy to note the captain Maki Takada does not leave the floor for Japan. However, that didn’t matter to Griner who picked up where she left off. Rui Machida and Nako Motohashi were players the US needed to focus on due to dynamic three point ability. Machida kept it rolling. These Japanese players deserve WNBA consideration. But, the US put a strangle hold on the game when they took a 70-49 lead. Japan finished strong, but still trailed 75-56.
Tom Hovas said he wanted to play the US in gold medal game and win. He came close, but the US just couldn’t be stopped. The last bit of time was used to just empty the bench and play it out. The dominance continues as the USA takes gold 90-75. A nice 25th birthday present for Wilson, and maybe the last time we see the two GOATs on the court in the Olympics.
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