They were challenged several times in pool play.

But when it was win or go home, Team USA showed they were the best.  And, they showed it emphatically.

The United States, led by the 30 points of Kevin Durant, dominated Serbia 96-66 to win its third consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

Durant scored 24 of his points in the first half, including 15 in the second quarter, as the US took a four point lead after the first quarter to a 23 point domination by halftime.

The Americans did it with their defense, holding the Serbs to 38.2 percent shooting, and just 4-24 from three point range, and forcing 18 turnovers. They did it with their rebounding ability, taking a 54-33 advantage on the boards.  And, they did it with teamwork, getting assists on 24 of their 34 field goals.

Durant hit 10-19 field goals including 5-11 from three point range.  DeMarcus Cousins added 13 points and 15 rebounds in 17 minutes of action, while Klay Thompson chipped in 12 points.

Serbia played the US to a three point game in pool play, but the US led 79-43 at the end of three quarters and led by as many as 41 points in the game.

For ten of the 12 players on the squad, it was their first gold medal.  Durant won his second and Carmelo Anthony, who was on the 2004 team that failed to win the gold in Athens, it was his third.