It had been a long time since Zach LaVine won anything meaningful. Now he’s a gold medalist after Team USA edged France 87-82 on Friday night.
Things got a bit too close for comfort for Team USA in this one after they took multiple double-digit-point leads, but they were able to hold off France to win gold for a fourth straight time at the Olympics. LaVine put the finishing touches on the gold medal with a post-buzzer slam:
Zach was mostly quiet throughout this game, but he did have one little spurt late in the third quarter with a layup and then a friendly bounce on a jumper as Team USA ran out to a 14-point lead. LaVine finished with five points on 2-of-3 shooting.
Team USA was led by Kevin Durant, who went for a game-high 29 points in the victory. Durant was terrific all Olympics long, leading this squad through adversity and saving them when their offense went into funks.
Jayson Tatum was huge off the bench in this one, pouring in 19 points. Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard were the other two players in double figures with 11 points apiece. Holiday’s effort throughout these Olympics was incredibly admirable after the NBA title run.
Overall, this was an outstanding experience for Zach LaVine. He played well throughout the tournament, and despite all of the doubters of Team USA (including myself), he was able to help this team win gold. Let’s hope he uses this experience as a way to help propel him forward with the Bulls, who are ready to take a leap with a revamped roster.
Congrats to Zach LaVine and Team USA on their gold medal!