Durant Lifts USA to World Championship Final
Kevin Durant had done it many times for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, pouring in the points in games that matter most. On Saturday, the 21-year-old did it for team USA, scoring a new US-record 38 points to help the Americans reach the FIBA World Championship final for the first time since 1994 with an 89-74 victory over Lithuania.
Durant set the most points scored in a game by an American at the World Championship by scoring 17 in the first quarter alone, five more than what the entire Lithuanian team could muster the whole period. Durant was either hitting three-point bombs or dunking over people the rest of the way, as the Americans were never really threatened en route to their first trip back into the final since the Canada edition in 1994. Lamar Odom and Russel Westbrook contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, to help Durant carry the scoring load.
The Americans will have a chance to end their World Championship drought on Sunday against host Turkey, which stunned Serbia in the other semifinal, 83-82. The Turks needed a last-second block from 7-foot center Semih Erden to stop the Serbs, who lost the game by allowing their opponents to go on a 14-3 run late in the fourth quarter.