Dominant U.S. crush Serbia to win World Cup

Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:16pm EDT
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By Iain Rogers

MADRID (Reuters) - The United States romped to their fifth basketball World Cup title after overcoming an early deficit to overwhelm the tournament's surprise package Serbia 129-92 in a one-sided final on Sunday.

An athletic U.S. team, missing top NBA players such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, finished the tournament in grand style with a 9-0 record to retain the title they won in Istanbul in 2010.

Serbia made a bright start and took a 15-7 lead in the opening few minutes but that was as good as it got for them after U.S. captain James Harden instigated a 15-0 run which put the champions in the driving seat.

The Americans nailed 11 of 16 three-pointers in the first half and took a 67-41 lead into the locker room as playmaker Kyrie Irving also found his range, while centers DeMarcus Cousins and Kenneth Faried dominated the boards.

Irving scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the opening two quarters, when his team mates stifled out Serbia playmaker Milos Teodosic at the other end of the court.

"Those first five minutes really knocked us back tonight and then the whole team gelled," U.S. coach Mike Kryzewski told a news conference.

"Obviously Kyrie and James (Harden) were amazing but this has been a great group to work with and I am proud of them.

"This is as good for me as anything, national championships and the Olympics. This group and what they did was very special for me."   Continued...

Coach Mike Krzyewski (R) of the U.S. celebrates winning their Basketball World Cup final game against Serbia in Madrid September 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Sergio Perez