Published: September 13, 2010 at 4:38 am – 

Team USA won the GOLD at the FIBA Championship games played in Istanbul, Turkey earlier today, by defeating the Turkish host team 81-64. During the first quarter the Turkish team only trailed by 5 points, but soon USA shut them down defensively.  Kevin Durant was the offensive key player

Initially, Team USA gold doubts were raised when star players, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were notably missing.  The 12 remaining players, six of those under the age of 22 with no returns from the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal Team soon became the “Redeemed Team”. The USA hadn’t brought home a World Championship since 1994.

The coaching staff had asked Durant to carry this team offensive.  He had initially been hesitant, but it soon became clear that it was impossible for him not to.  Durant has been a winner at every stage of his basketball life.

Durant kept it up through the third quarter, adding 8 more points, increasing the lead by 13.  In the final quarter, USA pulled ahead due in part to nine points scored by Odom. Odom, co-captain of the team, was good for 11 rebounds and 15 points.

With 45 seconds left on the clock, the congratulations began.  Twenty eight points were scored by Durant, landing him in the MVP slot and another 15 by Odom.  Durant averaged 22.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Team USA, stood arm and arm awaiting their turn to mount the podium. The excitement flared, confetti fell inside the Olympic Dome, as the US National Anthem played – the trophy was coming back to the US for the first time in 16 years. 

The game ended at nearly midnight… with the charter flight leaving at 4AM local time.

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