Sept. 13, 2010
The United States won its first world basketball championship since 1994 on Sunday, beating Turkey 81-64 behind another sensational performance from the tournament MVP Kevin Durant.
Durant scored 28 points, setting a record along the way for most in the tournament by a U.S. player. He left the court with 42 seconds remaining and shared a long hug with coach Mike Krzyzewski, who finally won the world title after his previous two attempts ended with bronze medals.
Lamar Odom added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Americans, who won gold in the worlds for the fourth time, doing so with a team that was no sure thing after coming to Turkey without the superstars from its Olympic gold medal team.
Andre Iguodala, an Arizona letterman for two seasons (2002-04), emerged as one of USA Basketball's team leaders during the nine-game tournament. The six-year NBA veteran averaged 6.7 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 58.8 percent from the field an leading the team with 16 steals.
A starter in all nine games, Iguodala averaged 18.9 minutes per game and his 18 offensive rebounds were second-most on the club.
Durant, who scored 33 and a U.S.-record 38 points in the previous two games, again took care of the offense, qualifying the U.S. for the 2012 Olympics.
Hedo Turkoglu of the Phoenix Suns scored 16 points for the Turks, who were bidding for their first title and were boosted by huge crowd support, with fans in red filling most of the 15,000-seat Sinan Erdem Dome.
The whistling was so loud when U.S. players were introduced that it was hard to make out the names. There were more whistles and boos every time the Americans had the ball in the early going, and the building was at its loudest when Turkoglu made consecutive 3-pointers to give Turkey its first lead at 15-14 with 4:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Durant scored 11 points in the quarter to help the Americans to a 22-17 advantage. The U.S. held Turkey to one field goal over the first 6 minutes of the second quarter, extending the lead to 10 on a 3-pointer by Durant. The Americans were ahead 42-32 at halftime.
Iguodala is the first Wildcat to win a FIBA World Championship gold medal since 1986, when Lute Olson (coach), Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr accomplished the feat in Madrid, Spain.
Iguodala helped Arizona win a Pac-10 Conference championship in 2002-03. He was a first-team NBA All-Rookie selection in 2005 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
information from the Associated Press was used in this release.