BY: PATRICK PHAM
The USA basketball team marked another historic moment after winning the FIBA World Cup on Sunday against Serbia, 129-92. USA now has four gold medals, three silver medals,and four bronze medals. Both James Harden and Kyrie Irving shot lights out. Irving scored 26 points shooting 10 for 13 from the field who also went perfect beyond the three point line. Harden had 23 points shooting eight for 11 hitting three 3-pointers.
USA’s journey started when they beat Ukraine, 95-71 advancing to the round of 16. Harden led the charge with 17 points scoring 10 of those points in the third quarter.
USA’s first matchup in the round of 16 was against Mexico which they won, 86-63. The “Splash Brothers” of the Golden State Warriors took over, Stephen Curry with 20 points and Klay Thompson with 15.
In their quarterfinal matchup, the USA team faced Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns and his brother Zoran Dragic of Slovenia. Last time, these two teams met, USA had a convincing win of 101-74. Much like last time, USA was able to replicate yet another impressive victory over Slovenia, 119-76.
USA struggled throughout the first half shooting only 36 percent from the field while Slovenia shot 50 percent. USA still led 49-42 at halftime. Kenneth Faried scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Klay Thompson had 10 points. Both Curry and Harden missed all their shots. Harden missed all eight while Curry missed four.
However, the second half, it was all USA. Curry opened up the quarter with two quick buckets and also hit two free throws, but didn’t score the rest of the way. Harden scored 12 of his 14 points in the third quarter and USA blew by Slovenia, 37-22.
The fourth quarter was no different than the third, USA had another dominating performance outscoring Slovenia, 33-12. Thompson finished with 20 points shooting 4-8 from downtown and Anthony Davis had 13 points along with 10 rebounds and three blocks.
USA was one more win away heading to the finals, USA were victorious against Lithuania, 96-68. Irving scored 18 points while Harden and Thompson each scored 16 points. They kept Lithuania under 15 percent from the 3-point line, 2-18.
However, the bigger upset came in the quarterfinals when Spain lost to France, 65-52. Then Serbia capitalized on that win eventually beating France in the semifinals playing USA in the finals.
USA kept Serbia under 20 points each quarter as they add another gold medal win to their collection. Their streak now stands at 63 games. Last time they lost was back in 2006 against Greece. They now earned a spot in the 2016 summer olympics in Rio.