By Steve Keating
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A ruthless United States pounded Serbia 96-66 to claim a third straight Olympic men’s basketball title on Sunday to give coach Mike Krzyzewski a golden send-off.
After scrapping to a tense three point win over Serbia in the group round, the United States quickly removed any suspense from the rematch, surging to a 52-29 halftime lead then cruising to their 25th straight win on Olympic hardwood.
Kevin Durant led the assault, pouring in 30 points including 24 in a brilliant opening half, while DeMarcus Cousins was again a beast on the boards, pulling down 15 rebounds.
The rout capped a brilliant tenure as Team USA head coach for Krzyzewski, who signs off having guided the U.S. to three consecutive Olympic gold medals and a near perfect 88-1 record in international competition.
The only blemish on the resume of ‘Coach K’, as Krzyzewski is known to many, is a semi-final loss to Greece at the 2006 world championships.
Earlier, Spain edged Australia 89-88 to take home the bronze.
(Editing by Bill Rigby)