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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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USA defeat host nation to win first World Championship in 16 years

First win since since 1994 for unfancied USA ‘B team’ in Turkey.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, right, in the third quarter of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, right, in the third quarter of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series
Image: Sue Ogrocki/AP/Press Association Images

A FIRST WORLD Championship since 1994 was won by the USA last night, beating host nation Turkey 81-64 in the decider in Istanbul.

The 2010 World Championship win is the fourth American trophy since the tournament began in 1950, making them the tourbnament’s most successful nation overall.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was again the star, scoring twenty-eight points. Coupled with his semi-final haul of thirty-eight points, Durant finished with a tournament average of 22.8 points per game despite not regularly starting for many of the pool games. 7 foot 5 Durant sunk seven of his thirteen attempts from three point range to seal a good evening.

The USA had come into the tournament as outsiders, with many of the start players unavailable. Only Brazil even came close to beating them though, losing 70-68 to the Americans in the group stages.

Turkey took an early 17-14 lead in the first quarter, but the USA never looked like losing from then on. An 11-0 run gave them a 25-17 lead by the second quarter.

Lamar Odom and Russell Westbrook also enjoyed good evenings, pointing fifteen and thirteen respectively. Hedo Turkoglu was the leading man fior the Turks with sixteen.

US coach Mike Kryznewski was quick to underline the importance of a World Championship win to the US Basketball. “This championship meant a lot because we have a very young team. It meant a lot to all of us. This was very special. We hadn’t won the World Championship since 1994 and we, as a country, are trying to show great respect for the World Championships which I’m not sure we did a decade ago. I mean it’s twice as big in terms of the number of teams participating than the Olympics. But the Olympics meant a lot too.”

Kryznewski lauded his defence as the main reason behind his team’s sterling overall performance. ”I think this was the best defensive team [I've had], Krzyzewski told SI.com. “I believe that because they knew they needed to play defense to win. The Olympics, our guys played great defense, too, but they could outscore you also. This team, we weren’t necessarily sure we could outscore somebody, but we had to defend them.”

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