The USA men’s basketball team was able to escape with their four consecutive Olympic gold medal in an 87-82 victory over France in Tokyo.

Team USA had a 10-point lead with under three minutes remaining, but France went on a big run to make it a three-point game with 10 seconds left. Kevin Durant made two free throws — shortly after Damian Lillard missed two — before Nicolas Batum missed a three for France, securing the USA victory.

And right after the buzzer, Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine threw down a ridiculous — yet rather casual — between-the-legs celebratory dunk.

But it was Durant that really stole the show, once again. Durant has been on another level than than anybody else on the floor this entire tournament, and he dropped 29 points — 9-of-18 from the field, 8-of-9 from the charity stripe — on France to lead the USA to gold. It’s Durant’s third Olympic gold medal, and we can safely call him the Team USA GOAT at this point.

Jrue Holiday had a remarkable Olympic performance as well, especially after just finishing an NBA Finals run as the starting point guard for the title-winning Milwaukee Bucks. His defense was incredible all tournament, and without it, the USA may not find a way to beat France.

And the team defense as a whole really stepped up when it mattered in these games. Just like vs Spain and Australia, the USA got off to a terrible start and their shots weren’t falling (Team USA didn’t lead until there was just over a minute left in the first quarter), but their tenacity and execution on defense clamped down to turn the game around. That’s a huge credit to the coaching from Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, and Jay Wright, but it also shows that the players really bought in and adjusted.

This was a well-earned gold medal that was far from easy, and it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case when the USA lost consecutive exhibition games ahead of the Olympics. And of course after this same France team beat the USA 83-76 two weeks ago in the Olympics.

But Team USA went into another gear when it mattered most, and now they’re gold medalists as a result.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at