Durant Scores 29, US Reaches Olympic Semis, Tops Spain 95-81

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The Associated Press

Back and forth they went, the reigning Olympic champions from the U.S. on one side, the reigning Basketball World Cup champions from Spain on the other.

Back and forth they went, the three-time defending Olympic champions from the U.S. on one side, the reigning Basketball World Cup champions from Spain on the other.

He’s never gone to the Olympics and not won gold — and clearly, doesn’t plan on that changing. Durant scored 29 points to keep his quest for a third Olympic title alive, and the Americans are headed to the medal round after ousting Spain 95-81 on Tuesday in a quarterfinal matchup at the Tokyo Games.

“We’ve just got to finish it. Got to finish it,” Durant said. “We’re supposed to be here. For us, it’s about getting the gold.”

Jayson Tatum scored 13 and Jrue Holiday added 12 for the U.S., which will play either Australia or Argentina in the semifinals on Thursday. The Americans also gave themselves the chance of extending a streak like none other in Olympic basketball history — in all 18 of their previous Olympic men’s basketball appearances, they’ve gone home with a medal.

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