Team USA triumphed over the Czech Republic, earning themselves a ticket to the quarterfinals

Advertisement
Jaromir Bohacik #17 of Team Czech Republic drives to the basket against Kevin Durant #7 of Team United States during the first half of a Men's Basketball Preliminary Round Group A game on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on July 31, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.
Kevin Durant
| Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty

The U.S. men's basketball team is headed to the Olympic quarterfinals.

After a disappointing loss to France last week, which marked their first Olympic loss since 2004, Team USA bounced back for a decisive victory against Iran on Wednesday, winning 120-66.

The team got off to a slow start during Saturday's game against the Czech Republic but things turned around in the second quarter, with Kevin Durant also passing Carmelo Anthony's Olympic record to become Team USA's all-time leading scorer

During the second quarter, the two-time gold medalist scored his 339th point — putting himself ahead of Anthony, who made 336 points during his Olympic career.

Going into halftime, the U.S. had a narrow 47-43 lead, which they were able to expand upon during the third and fourth quarters. The team ended with a commanding lead over the Czech Republic, winning 119-84.

After the game, Durant told NBC that going into the Tokyo Games he "never thought about" possibly beating Anthony's record.

"But you know playing in three Olympics, that's a lot of games — and starting a lot of these games too," he continued. "I'm happy I'm just a part of something special."

Durant also said that even though his mom wasn't able to be there in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, they did FaceTime ahead of the game.

"She just wished me luck, just checking in," he said. "She's been there since I first started playing the game, every step of the way. Mom, if you're watching, I appreciate you, I love you, I'll talk to you when I get in the locker room."

Saturday's match was a big one for Team USA, with the winner claiming a spot in the upcoming quarterfinals.

France, Slovenia, Spain, Australia and Italy have already earned their spots in the knockout tournament round, while the last two remaining spots are still up in the air.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.