U.S. basketball team captures world championship

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ISTANBUL — The so-called “B-Team” turned out to be the best team in the world.

The United States won its first world championship since 1994 on Sunday, beating Turkey 81-64 behind another sensational performance from tournament MVP Kevin Durant.

Durant had 28 points, setting a record along the way for most in the tournament by a U.S. player. He left the court with 42 seconds left and shared a long hug with coach Mike Krzyzewski, who finally won the world title after his previous two attempts ended with bronze medals.

Lamar Odom added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Americans, who won gold in the worlds for only the fourth time, doing so with a team that was no sure thing after coming to Turkey without the superstars from its Olympic gold medal team.

With Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Co. sitting home, this group was called a “B-Team,” which the players were aware of and used as motivation.

And they came through where many of their bigger-name predecessors couldn’t four years ago in Japan in the world championship, beginning to quiet a raucous crowd midway through the second quarter with a superb defensive effort.

Durant, who scored 33 and a U.S.-record 38 points in the previous two games, again took care of the offense, qualifying the U.S. for the 2012 Olympics.

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