Tokyo: Brittney Griner scored 30 points to lead the United States to its seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal after beating Japan in the women’s basketball competition here on Sunday.
The US won nine gold medals in the past 10 Olympic Games dated back to 1984.
The silver medal is also the best result for the host Japan, whose previous best, 5th placing, came from the 1976 Montreal in Canada. It also ties the best Olympic result in Asian women’s basketball as the second place as China won the silver medal in 1992.
The US dominated the paint with seven blocks in the first quarter to open it 18-5 before Japan found the rhythm for the outside shooters.
Japan, which shot 41 per cent on a 3-pointer before the match, did not let the US pull away with constant long shots, until a lay-up of Brittney Griner, who scored 18 points in the first half, built up a 46-32 lead.
Leading by 50-39 to enter the second half, the US used a 15-4 run to extend the lead to 73-49.
Losing 86-69 to the US in the group phase, Japan could not find a better way to close the gap of height, three inches lower than the US averagely to finish as the silver medalist.
Maki Takada buried 6-out-of-9 3-pointers, as the Japanese team shot 20-out-of-46, to lead her team with 17 points.