Irving with star performance in first half to blitz Serbia with three-point shooting…
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Team USA didn’t disappoint in Spain this summer as they secured gold at the FIBA World Cup 2014 despite the pressure of being heavy favourites from the start.
Having coasted through the tournament, the Americans were faced with Serbia in the gold medal game on Sunday in Madrid, and despite their memorable run to the final, they had no answer as Team USA were on fire from tip-off.
Tournament MVP Kyrie Irving made all six of his three-point attempts and scored 26 points while James Harden added 23 points in the 129-92 win.
“I think the results were dominant, but we had spurts of dominance in a lot of games,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said, ESPN reports.
“And we had tough games and then all of a sudden we’d have a spurt and it looked like we dominated. Tonight we had like about a 35-minute spurt.”
Despite not having the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul available for selection, Coach Mike Krzyzewski had enough strength in depth to ease to victory in all of the group games as well as the knockout phase, and it also laid foundations for certain players to emerge on the national team.
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose had hoped to use the tournament to get back to his best after devastating knee injuries over the past two years, and although his conditioning and rhythm would have improved, he lacked the cutting edge to fully convince his detractors.
However, the same can’t be said of big men Kenneth Faried, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins who solidified themselves as key parts of the tournament success, while Harden, Irving and Klay Thompson were fundamental in the backcourt.
As for the losing finalists, it was a great tournament for Sasha Djordjevic’s men as they defeated the likes of Greece, Brazil and France en route to the final, and with Bogdan Bogdanovic emerging as one of the best young talents in Europe, it won’t be long before NBA fans see him in action with the Phoenix Suns.
Nevertheless, Team USA are worthy champions after extending their winning run to 63 games, 45 in official FIBA events and 18 in exhibition play, and are now automatically qualified for the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.
USA 129-92 Serbia