Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Brittney Griner dominates as Team USA defeat Japan to win seventh consecutive gold medal

Team USA celebrate gold medal victory over Japan at Tokyo Olympics
(NBA Getty Images)

55 straight wins.

Seven consecutive gold medals.

Team USA's dominance in women's basketball reached new heights as they defeated Japan 90-75 in the gold medal game in Tokyo.

Their streak of seven gold medals matches the men's team run between 1936-1968.

Let's jump into some key takeaways from the historic wire-to-wire win.

USA's size advantage proves too much

Japan simply had no answer for Team USA's size in the frontcourt as Brittney Griner and A'Ja Wilson commanded the paint on both ends.

Griner poured in 30 points on 14-of-18 shooting, adding five rebounds and three blocks, setting a new record for points scored by a USA women's player in a gold medal game.

Wilson added 19 points, seven rebounds and five blocks of her own as USA outscored Japan 58-40 in the paint.

Meanwhile, Breanna Stewart did a little bit of everything, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

Japan's threat from the 3-point line has been their biggest strength through the tournament, but as they struggled to get going from deep, connecting on 8-of-31 of their threes, they had little to counter Team USA's presence inside.

Farewell to a pair of legends

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi created history tonight, becoming the first players - male or female - to win five Olympic gold medals in basketball.

Winning their first golds in Athens 2004, the duo have been mainstays of the USA women's basketball program and farewelled their international careers in style.

"Let me just say it's 20 years of sacrifice, of putting everything aside and just wanting to win," Taurasi said. "It's never easy playing on this team, the pressure. I'm just happy this team found a way to win."

Bird and Taurasi scored two of the USA's first four baskets of the game, getting them out to an 8-2 lead, before the younger brigade took the reigns. Taurasi recorded seven points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Bird finished with seven points, three asissts and three rebounds.

"It's not just about us, it's about all the players who set the stage or who are on it right now," Bird said.

History for Japan

Japan entered the Olympic Games as the world's No.10 ranked team and walk away from the tournament as one of the shining lights of the Games.

They electrified viewers in their run to final, upsetting world. No. 6 Beligum in the quarter-finals and world No. 5 France in the semis, with their free-flowing, sharp-shooting stlye of play a joy to watch.

The silver medal is the country's first Olympic basketball medal - men's or women's - with the women's teams best Olympic finish coming in Montreal 1976 when they placed fifth.

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