RIO DE JANEIRO — They weren’t the Dream Team, or even the Redeem Team – not even close.
But by the time Team USA’s 96-66 win against Serbia was complete on Sunday and the mission for the third consecutive gold medal was complete, only one thing mattered more than all the comparisons that always inevitably come: this team kept the Team USA reputation intact.
Twelve years after their bronze finish in the Athens Games sparked so much change in the national program, and a decade after a bronze finish in the FIBA World Championship in Japan had Mike Krzyzewski’s tenure as Team USA coach off to an inauspicious start, their run of perfection continues. With the win, Team USA — this 2016 version that was led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and all the rest — has won 52 consecutive games in FIBA play (24 in the Olympics).
In a rematch of their Aug. 12 pool play game in which they won by just three points, Team USA wasted little time pulling away in this one….