USA claimed the Olympic women’s basketball title for the seventh straight time, beating Japan 90-75 in the final.

In leading USA to their 55th consecutive win at the Olympic Games, veterans Sue Bird, 40, and Diana Taurasu, 39, became the first athletes to win five Olympic gold medals in a team sport.

“What can you say? It’s 20 years of sacrifice, of putting everything aside and just wanting to win,” said Taurasi, who scored seven points and added six rebounds and eight assists.

“It’s never easy playing on this team with the pressure, but this group found a way to win and I’m just happy this group got to enjoy it.”

Using their size advantage, USA dominated inside on both ends of the court, outscoring Japan 58-40 on points in the paint and blocking 12 shots.

Brittney Griner was unstoppable with 30 points, while A’ja Wilson added 19.

Japan fought valiantly and reduced the margin from 25 points midway through the fourth quarter to 15 at the final siren, but they couldn’t conjure the magic of earlier games in their fairytale run to the medal rounds.

They never led, shot only 36% from the field and Machida Rui, who dished out a women’s Olympic record 18 assists in the semifinal win over France, was stunted with six assists and eight points.

Japan, a well-oiled machine but undone in the end by a wealth of talent, took a bow. Their first-ever medal in this sport, with Takada Maki leading the way on 17 points.

“Seven in a row, I mean that’s just amazing,” said Griner. “That just goes to show everything USA basketball’s about.”

She added: “Japan’s hard to guard. They can shoot it anywhere on the court. They’re a tough guard, they’re a really good team. I’m just glad we’ve got this gold.”

The USA have qualified for the 2023 World Cup in Sydney as well.

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