• US routs Serbia to retain FIBA World Cup crown

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    MADRID: United States completed a clean sweep of the world’s best in racing past Serbia 129-92 on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to win the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and become the first country to defend their crown since 2002.

    The Americans made 15 of 30 three-pointers in the game with Kyrie Irving and James Harden combining for nine three-pointers and 49 points.

    Six other players scored in double figures for the Americans, who went undefeated in the tournament with an average winning margin of 33 points.

    The US victory was close to the all-time record for the biggest winning margin in a final, the record being 46 points in a 137-91 US win over Russia in 1994.

    The 129 points by the Americans were second to their showing in 1994

    The Americans also secured their fifth world title, pulling them even with Yugoslavia, who repeated their title in 2002. Brazil also won back-to-back crowns in 1959 and 1963.

    Nikola Kalinic and Nemanja Bjelica paced Serbia with 18 points each as they secured their best showing at the worlds under the Serbian flag.

    Serbia started strong, leading 12-5 in the early going, but the Americans responded with a 17-3 run for a 22-15 lead.

    The US extended the lead to 35-19 as Irving nailed three three-pointers in scoring 15 points in the period.

    The American shooters remained hot in knocking down six more three-pointers in pushing the lead to 31 points. The margin was 67-41 at the break.

    Irving was named MVP for the tournament.

    AFP

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