Durant, U.S. end drought

September 13, 2010

The United States ended a long wait by beating Turkey 81-64 in the final Sunday in Istanbul to win its first world championship in 16 years thanks to forward Kevin Durant.

The 21-year-old Thunder prodigy won the tournament's MVP award with a series of majestic performances. Easing past defenders to score from a wide range of positions, Durant racked up 28 points in the final, including 20 in the first half after the hosts had taken a 17-14 lead.

Durant buried one 3-pointer after another to give the U.S. a 42-32 halftime lead, and his Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook provided excellent support with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.

"I was put in a great position to come here and be one of the main players," Durant said. "I took the challenge, and it was a tough task to prepare for the international game."

Lakers forward Lamar Odom chipped in with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu, who limped to the dressing room after a first-half collision, returned to lead Turkey with 16 points.

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