Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday rally Team USA past Australia, to Olympic men's basketball gold-medal game

SAITAMA (Japan) -- Team USA felt that historic heat and the gripping feeling of an unshakeable loss. They went to the men wearing the rings.Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday were NBA champions and displayed the skill and poise that are essential in high-level basketball.Durant and Holiday broke Australia's spirit by breaking it in the Olympic semifinals. They also lifted up their entire team in a stunning performance that resulted in a 97 to 78 win. This means that the Americans will be able to secure a spot in Saturday's gold medal game.Durant said, "There were many guys on this team who had straight faces and were ready for play when we were down [points] 15, strong faces is what Pop has said," referring to a concept that former USA coach Mike Krzyzewski encouraged and which current coach Gregg Popovich reiterated about persevering through adversity."They came out, hit us with a nice horsemanship, and we were able get up to retrieve that lead."Kevin Durant sat down and began to work for the United States to turn the tide against Australia at the end the first half. AP Photo/Eric GayAustralia had been preparing for this game for years and came out prepared with a clever game plan, sharp execution, and a tight focus. Team USA was able to see the Australians' defensive look by revealing double teams and speed rotations.The Boomers were looking to win their fifth Olympic semifinal and their first ever win. Patty Mills, one the most prolific scorers in Olympic history and a leader of the Boomers' NBA team, is leading the team. The players will be playing in a game that will earn them respect from their countrymen and peers for the rest their lives.They played with that backdrop as a backdrop and built a 15-point lead in the first half. This was Team USA's calling card, as they tend to have choppy shooting and execution at the beginning of games.Although it was risky to dig a hole in these conditions, the Americans had Durant who scored 23 points but wasn't needed for the fourth quarter. The Aussies did not.Durant got to work despite the offensive sputtering, and poor 3-point shooting. Durant made seven first-half baskets. Holiday was his partner and he had six assists in the first half while defending Mills.ResultsAs Australia began to lose ground, the lead fell to three. The U.S. ended the first half with an 8-0 run. This was an important moment, particularly because the Americans have proven to be a formidable third-quarter team.Durant stated, "When you have a great team and you play a team that feels it's going be tough to beat you, they're going out and playing their best brand of basketball." "They're going play perfect basketball. I felt that was what they did in the first half. Once we were down three, it felt like we had the game under control."Durant and Holiday decided to take the game into their hands and end the first half. Holiday had 11 points and made two baskets. Durant scored three, including two 3-pointers. It was a 12-0 run which made it 20-0 at the end of the second half.Holiday and Durant's strong defense helped the team win. They were also supported by Draymond Green and Bam Adebayo, who proved their versatility. The Australians, who had started 13-of-26 shots, were clearly shaken and began missing shots when they went 3-of-16.Holiday and Durant's confidence was infectious, especially to Devin Booker. Holiday began looking for Booker, as the Aussies were determined to stop Durant. Holiday made two 3-pointers, and scored 10 of his 20-points in the third quarter kick that turned it into a rout.Booker stated that "[Durant] has been there before and he's leading me as such." He's been a great leader and we all benefit from his energy.Mills, who scored 55 points in Australia’s recent victories over the U.S.A, finished with 15, but most of them after the game had already been decided. Mills, who was playing in his fourth Olympics, made the decision to leave Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs this week after 10 seasons.Popovich stated, "I'm delighted with the win obviously, but when he looked at me in the eyes, i felt bad." Popovich said that it was sad because they wanted it as badly as anyone else. We all want to win, that's why we do it.