US grind their way into Olympic final

The United States defeated Spain 82-76 in Rio on Friday to advance to the gold medal final of the men’s basketball tournament.

The Americans are overwhelming favourites to claim a 25th consecutive Olympic victory and third straight gold medal when they take on the winner of Australia and Serbia on Friday.

Spain presented the US with their toughest challenge to date, with the European side sporting several NBA players of their own to take on the American stars.

But despite a spirited effort from the London and Beijing finalists, who were never too far behind, the US led the match from start to finish, as Klay Thompson led the way with 22 points.

DeAndre Jordan was a livewire throughout and had 16 rebounds.

Thirty-six-year-old Pau Gasol of the Spurs led the way for Spain with 23 points.

Team USA will face Serbia in the final after they cruised to a 87-61 win over Australia.

Milos Teodosic was Serbia’s top-scorer as he dropped 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting to go with two rebounds and five assists. Stefan Markovic also played an instrumental role in Serbia’s win as he made all five of his shots to finish with 14 points, three rebounds and five assists.

Patty Mills and Brock Motum scored 13 points apiece for Australia, while Joe Ingles chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds.