A young Team USA has won the country’s first FIBA world basketball championship in 16 years.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points – including seven 3-pointers – as the United States beat the tournament’s host, Turkey, 81-64 in the gold medal game in Istanbul last Sunday.
The game capped off a perfect tournament for Team USA, which won all five of its group games before going 4-0 in the knockout stage.
Durant, 21, was named the tournament’s MVP. The team featured no players from the United States’ 2008 gold-medal-winning Olympic squad, and half of its 12 members are younger than 23.
The victory makes the United States an automatic qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. It also wraps up a remarkable 25 months for Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose Duke Blue Devils won an NCAA title last spring between the United States’ victories in Beijing and Istanbul.
Team USA last won the FIBA World Championship in 1994, when it beat Russia in the final.
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