Durant's 30 points help USA to gold medal
LONDON — Former University of Texas standout Kevin Durant posted a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds to lead Team USA to a 107-100 victory against Spain in the gold medal game at the 2012 Olympics on Sunday afternoon. Durant converted 8-of-18 field goals, including 5-of-13 from three-point range, and 9-of-10 free throws while adding one assist, one steal and one blocked shot in 38 minutes.
Durant’s 30 points in the gold medal game tied for the third-highest single-game total in U.S. Olympic history. His 156 total points during the Olympic tournament set a record for most points scored by an American player in an Olympic competition, topping the previous mark of 145 set by Spencer Haywood in 1968 (Mexico City). In addition, Durant set the U.S. record for most three-point field goals made in an Olympic tournament with 34 (previous mark heading into the 2012 games was 17, shared by Kobe Bryant in 2008 and Reggie Miller in 1996).
“I can’t put into words how proud we all are of Kevin and the entire United States team,” said Texas coach Rick Barnes. “Seeing Kevin’s smile as he received his gold medal is one of those special moments. Kevin has always been about winning, so those of us who know him so well understand how truly happy he was on that podium. Forget the individual numbers, today’s game was all about doing whatever it took to bring home that gold medal.”
During the eight games of the Olympics, Durant led Team USA in scoring (19.5 ppg) and ranked second in rebounding (5.8 rpg) while averaging 26.0 minutes per contest. He converted 49-of-101 (.485) field goals, including 34-of-65 (.523) from three-point range, and 24-of-27 (.889) free throws. Durant added five blocks (tops on the team), 13 steals (second on the team) and 21 assists against nine turnovers.
Durant became the third player in Texas Basketball history to capture a gold medal, joining Gilbert “Gib” Ford (USA, 1956) and Jay Arnette (USA, 1960). Durant also became the fourth player in Texas Basketball history to compete in the Olympics and the first since Albert Almanza represented Mexico in 1964.
Ford, a three-year letterwinner at Texas (1952-54) earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 1956 Melbourne Games. Ford, who had finished his playing career at UT in 1954, was 25 at the time of the Olympics and enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces. Ford played in all eight games and averaged 4.9 points per contest, as the Americans went 8-0 in Melbourne and posted a +53.5 points per game margin of victory en route to the gold medal.
A three-year letterwinner for the Longhorns (1958-60) who garnered All-America honors as a senior, Arnette earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Arnette, who had just completed his collegiate eligibility, played in all eight games and averaged 2.9 points per contest. The U.S. squad went 8-0 mark in Rome and recorded a +42.4 points per game margin of victory en route to the gold medal.