U.S. narrowly turns game around for basketball worlds victory

09:18, August 31, 2010      

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The United States inched their way to the top of the group after narrowly defeating Brazil 70-68 during Monday night's 2010 World Basketball Championship game in Istanbul's Abdi Ipekci Arena.

The strongest two teams in group B, the U.S. and Brazil were tied going into Monday's game with a score of 2-0 and were competing for the top spot on the 3rd day of the championship.

The United States is seen as a favorite for gold in the championship and Brazil is also considered a top contender, making Monday's game very tense with both teams trading the lead too often for anyone to get comfortable.

After a 4-0 start for Brazil, the U.S. soon caught up and pulled ahead, after which Brazil once again tied at 10-10 with 6 minutes left in the first quarter. A three-pointer by Marcus Viera would soon put Brazil ahead, but the U.S. caught up at 15-15.

Inching ahead to 18-17, U.S. coach Mike Kryzewski changed four players with three minutes left, leaving only Kevin Durant from the original lineup. Brazil once again pulled ahead with less than two minutes left on the clock, and lead the quarter with 28-22.

Brazil maintained its lead for the second quarter, but with the U.S. stepping up its defense the difference went down as low as 37- 36 before finishing the first half with Brazil ahead 46-43.

The U.S. was not able to tie the game again until six minutes left in the third quarter when a three-pointer by Kevin Durant brought the score to 50-50, soon followed by a point by Derrick Rose putting America ahead at 52-50 for the first time since the first quarter.

The U.S. maintained a slight lead for the rest of the quarter, widening the gap as far as 61-55 before finishing with 61-59.

Brazil's Marcus Viera tied the game with 62-62 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Soon pulling ahead to 66- 62 with seven minutes remaining, America maintained a two-point lead over Brazil for the rest of the game ending the quarter and the match at 70-68.

America's Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the highest scorer of the game with 27 points, while Brazil's leading scorer was Marcus Vinicius with 16 points.

America's last two games are against Iran and Tunisia on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, both teams of which are at the bottom of the group and considered weak.

Source: Xinhua


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