Diana Taurasi, playing through injury, goes for historic gold medal with Team USA

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Diana Taurasi is determined to take the court in USA basketball’s gold-medal game against Japan on Sunday morning in Tokyo.

The Team USA veteran has an opportunity, alongside Sue Bird, to become the first basketball player to win five Olympic gold medals.

“It’s been 21 years with USA Basketball, that’s a long time, so there’s nothing that I left on the table, and I’m just excited to get on the court for the gold medal,” Taurasi told reporters after the United States’ semifinal win Friday.

Taurasi heads into the Olympic final banged up, having battled a hip injury “for a little bit” now.

The 39-year-old left the United States’ semifinal match against Serbia early, clocking just 12 minutes on the court. Although Taurasi failed to get on the board in the game, Team USA sailed to a 79-59 victory over Serbia.

“It’s a little bothersome, but it’s fine,” Taurasi said, signaling that she intends to play for gold.

Coach Dawn Staley shrugged off the injury scare, insisting that Taurasi will “be ready to rock and roll on Sunday.”

“We want her to be at her best, whether that’s 80 percent, 100 percent, 50 percent … she needs to be on the floor in order for us to be successful,” said Staley.

Taurasi and Team USA will look to win the program’s seventh consecutive gold medal when they play Japan in the Olympic final, airing Saturday at 10:30 pm ET on NBC.