2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final
|Date||14 September 2014|
|Arena||Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid|
The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final was a basketball game that took place on 14 September 2014 at Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, to determine the winner of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
This was the first time the United States and Serbia, after the secession of Montenegro, played against each other. With the United States victory, they tied Yugoslavia with five titles, the most in this competition. They also qualified to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Route to the final
|New Zealand||98–71||Match 3||Iran||83–70|
|Dominican Republic||106–71||Match 4||Brazil||73–81|
|Mexico||86–63||Round of 16||Greece||90–72|
The Americans qualified by virtue of being the defending Olympic champions, after defeating Spain in 2012 gold medal game. The United States were one of the seeded teams in the draw. They were ultimately drawn into Group C with Turkey, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Finland and Ukraine.
The United States faced wild cards Finland in their first game. The United States never looked back after erecting a 60–18 lead at halftime to score its first win. In the rematch of 2010's final, Turkey had a 5-point advantage at the half, but the Americans outscored the Turks 63–37 in the second half to notch their second win. In their next game, the United States again won easily, this time against New Zealand to remain undefeated in group play. They then topped the group with a 106–71 victory against the Dominican Republic. Against Ukraine, the Americans closed out group play undefeated, netting a fifth consecutive double-digit victory.
In the round of 16, the United States withstood a 25-point game-high effort by Gustavo Ayón to record a 23-point win against Mexico. The Slovenians faced the United States in the quarterfinals, holding the USA scoreless in the first two minutes, but once the Americans scored, they went on a 7–0 run to never relinquish the lead. The semifinal was a rematch of the 2010 semifinal against Lithuania; the latter kept it close until during the first quarter when Klay Thompson scored to give the USA a 10–9 lead. The Lithuanians kept within striking distance throughout the first half, but an unanswered 10–0 USA run at the beginning of the third quarter sealed a return to the final for the USA.
In their first game, Serbia had an easy win against Egypt, Miloš Teodosić scoring 15 points to lead the Serbs. The Serbs then faced France in their next game. The French trailed at halftime, but Edwin Jackson converted three three-pointers to keep France close. Boris Diaw tied the game with four seconds left, then Joffrey Lauvergne scored from the free-throw line to give Serbia their first loss. In the next game, Hamed Haddadi's 29 points weren't enough for Iran, as Serbia won 83–70. Haddadi was foiled when Serbia forced him to commit his fourth foul just before halftime. Although the Serbian players who guarded Haddadi also battled foul trouble, they pulled through in the end. The Serbs then lost to Brazil, with Marcus Vieira scoring 6 three-point shots. Serbia were assured of a final round berth by their last group game against Spain, but lost 73–89, to finish fourth in the group.
Serbia faced Group B winners Greece in the round of 16. After the Greeks had their first lead of the game late in the first half, Nikola Kalinić scored on a three-point to play that gave them the lead for good. Serbia limited Greece to 13 points in the third quarter en route to a win. Bogdan Bogdanović had a game-high 21 points, and four other Serbs scored in double figures to send Serbia to the quarterfinals. All Group A teams qualified to the quarterfinals, with Brazil netting a rematch with Serbia. With Brazil within striking distance throughout the game, Tiago Splitter and Nenê were assessed technical fouls in the third quarter; Serbia had a seven-point possession and never trailed again. France then defeated Spain to arrange a rematch with Serbia in the semifinals. Serbia had a 9–0 run in the second period to give them a 30–15 advantage. France cut the lead to ten early in the fourth quarter. Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier made three-pointers to cut the deficit to four points with five minutes left. Teodosić and Bogdanović scored their own three-pointers to pad the lead to nine when the French converted more three-pointers to cut the lead to three with 48 seconds left. Thomas Heurtel converted both free-throws to cut the lead to one point, but Teodosić missed a field-goal. Heurtel split his free-throws off Teodosić's foul, then Serbia scored four points, Batum made a three-pointer for France, and Marko Simonović made both free-throws to seal the win for Serbia.
This was the first meeting between Serbia and the United States in the World Cup.
Serbia made their first five shots of the game to race to a 10–5 lead. After the U.S. timeout, Serbia scored anew, then the Americans had a 17–3 run to go up by seven. Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson scored three-pointers to give the USA a 35–21 lead. In the second quarter, the United States made six more three point shots to give them a 26-point lead at the half. The Americans erected the largest lead at 39 points midway through the third quarter. The final deficit of 37 points and the 129 points scored were the largest in a World Cup final since the USA's 137–91 victory over Russia in the 1994 FIBA World Championship. The Americans also became the third team, after Brazil and Yugoslavia, to successfully defend the world title, and tied the Yugoslavs with having the most championships, with five.
The Americans shot 58% from the field and 50% from beyond the three-point line in the game, won all nine games by an average of 32.5 points, and qualified to the 2016 Olympics. Kyrie Irving was named the tournament MVP.
After being defeated, the Serbian team was received by a raucous crowd in their return to Belgrade. This was the best finish of a national team featuring Serb players since the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, where Yugoslavia defeated Argentina in the final.
14 September 2014
|Scoring by quarter: 35–21, 32–20, 38–26, 24–25|
|Pts: Irving 26
Rebs: Cousins 9
Asts: Rose 6
|Pts: Bjelica, Kalinić 18
Rebs: Marković 6
Asts: Teodosić 7
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