US Clobbers Turkey, Ends World Championship Title Drought

After 16 years, the US team has finally recaptured the FIBA World Championship title with a dominating performance against host Turkey in the final, 81-64.

Kevin Durant, who led his team in scoring with 28 points in a fitting follow-up to his 38-point outburst a night earlier, was named tournament MVP.

Things did not start as rosy as the Americans had wanted though, as Turkey, behind Hedo Turkoglu, took an early 17-14 lead. But Durant hit a three-pointer that was followed by a Stephen Curry trey and two Russell Westbrook free throws to give the US a 22-17 lead after the first period. The Americans upped their defense a couple of notches in the second period, resulting in turnovers for the Turks, who could not buy any baskets despite the strong crowd support from local fans. The first half ended with the US already up by 10, 42-32.

The third and fourth quarters were all US, although Turkey showed some signs of life in the third period when the Turks reeled six unanswered points to cut their deficit to 52-41. However, Rudy Gay, Durant, Lamar Odom, and Westbrook each scored at least two late in the period to give the Americans a comfortable, 61-48, lead heading into the last frame.