|10||D. GRANGER||Did not play|
|5||E. KOLESNIKOV||Did not play|
|10||V. KHRYAPA||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) – The USA
pulled away in the second half to see off
Russia 89-79 and book their place in the semi-finals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Up 44-39 at the break, the Americans came out strong in the third quarter to take their first double-digit lead of the night, 58-47, on Russell Westbrook’s breakaway dunk. They then kept their foot on the pedal and the Russians were unable to keep up with them the rest of the way.
Kevin Durant had 33 points for Mike Krzyzewski’s team, who will next face the winners of the last quarter-final, that pits Argentina against Lithuania.
The game was played exactly 38 years since the 1972 Olympic Games final, which was the first loss by a USA team in the Olympics.
There was little to separate the two teams in the opening quarter. The lead changed five times and there were six ties, including at the end of the period, when it was knotted at 25.
The teams traded three-point shots – combining to go seven of 14 from long range – and Russia got some valuable offense off the bench from Timofey Mozgov, who worked the pick-and-roll to perfection with Dimtriy Khvostov.
The USA relied on Durant – who had 13 points in the first quarter alone – to get their offense going and also banked on their ability to get to the free-throw line.
Sergey Bykov buried a three to edge Russia in front 9-8 before the USA ran off seven unanswered.
Down 20-16, the Russians edged in front thanks to Mozgov who had two dunks as part of a 7-0 that put them up 23-20.
The American defense broke down early in the second period and Khvostov got a wide open lay-up before Andrey Vorontsevich, who visited with FIBATV.com after the game, hit a jumper for a 29-25 edge.
Vitaliy Fridzon later hit a jumper and David Blatt’s men were up 35-30 after Bykov scored on back-to-back possessions.
The USA though replied in emphatic fashion by accounting for the next 12 points.
Derrick Rose drove to the hoop, Eric Gordon hit from beyond the arc and Rose made a free-throw that saw the Americans edge back in front, 36-35, with 3:08 left in the half.
They pulled away as Durant made a floater in the lane, Andre Iguodala knocked down a pair from the charity stripe and then concluded some good ball movement with a double-clutch lay-up for 42-35.
Vorontsevich’s jumper with 31.7 seconds left in the half ended a severe scoring drought for Russia as they had not scored a single point since the 4:48 mark of the second quarter.
Durant drove baseline for his 18th and 19th points of the first half and Sasha Kaun got Russia within 44-39 just before the break.
Chauncey Billups and Westbrook combined for 15 points in the third quarter to take some of the scoring load off of Durant. Billups hit two three-pointers to push the American lead up to 49-42.
Sergey Monya hit a long bomb of his own to get within 50-45. However, Russia were dealt a huge blow as Mozgov picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench midway through the period.
Billups had a lay-up and a Russia turnover resulted in Westbrook’s thunderous jam for the Americans’ first double-digit lead.
Bykov converted a three-point play before Westbrook knocked down a corner three and got another breakaway slam. Lamar Odom capped off a 17-3 run with an easy lay-up that made it 65-50 with 2:37 left in the quarter.
Tyson Chandler cleaned up Westbrook’s miss in the dying seconds of the period for a 70-56 cushion.
The USA pushed their lead to as many as 18 twice in the early stages of the final frame. The Russians got within 84-72 on Mozgov’s dunk with 3:28 left to play, but the deficit was too much.
Russia were dealt a blow as Vorontsevich had to leave the game late on with a right leg injury.
Mike Krzyzewski (USA head coach) : “I would like to congratulate Russia for playing such a terrific game. Coach Blatt has had an amazing career coaching in Russia and the way his team played today shows the high quality of coaching he gives his players. I thought we were ready and played hard. It was a very well earned win against a terrific team with a great coach.”
(About the time of the game when they trailed): “They (Russia) were playing good defense and we were not hitting the shots, the Russians seemed to be in control. The main thing I told my players in that time out it's just relax, there's a long way to go. When you play against a team that never quits you know they are going to play every possession and Russia did that.”
Kevin Durant (USA forward) : “Today was a very tough game for us. We played hard. Credit to the Russians for playing hard for 40 minutes. We are looking forward to moving on.”
David Blatt (Russia head coach) : “I congratulate coach K and his great staff and their wonderful team. One of the things that I mostly appreciate about USA basketball under coach K, is that they recognise how to play the European game and still maintain that advantage that the American game gives them. We tried hard to stop them and there were moments that we were successful, but in all honesty, the game was in the control of the USA team.”
“I’ll remember this experience and I hope my players do. The game was classy. I want to wish Team USA good luck in the tournament. It wasn't tough (to play against his home nation), it was really a joy. I sure as hell wish I could have won, it would have been sweeter.”
Andrey Vorontsevich (Russia forward) : “This game for our team was not easy. We played against great players, who play in the best league in the world but I think we played hard.”