USA basketball defeated Serbia 129-92 Sunday to win the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The Americans went 9-0 in the tournament and won every single game by a 20+ margin, the first time any team has accomplished the feat in 18 World Cup tournaments dating back to 1950.
Nets rookie Mason Plumlee logged nine minutes in garbage time at the end of the first and second halves, scoring 1 point, grabbing four rebounds, and along with Andre Drummond, had the only negative +/- on the team, at -1. For the tournament, Plumlee averaged 2.3 points and 2 rebounds in 9 minutes of play.
USA has had slow starts in this tournament and today was no different. Thanks to USA foul trouble and excellent ball movement from Serbia, the Europeans found themselves up 15-7 early in the first quarter. But USA closed the opening frame on a 28-6 run, spurred in large part by Kyrie Irving’s 15 1st-quarter points on 6-7 shooting.
Irving led all scorers with 26 points en route to tournament MVP honors.
The offensive barrage continued in the second quarter and the U.S. ended the first half up 67-41, shooting 11-16 from beyond the arc. Serbia grasped at straws in the second half, even switching to zone defense for the first time in the tournament to no avail.
The US would have won even if they stopped scoring with 3:05 left in the 3rd quarter.
The hobbled 31-year-old ghost of former New Jersey Nets big man Nenad Kristic managed four points for the Serbian club, who made a surprise run to the Finals with upsets over Greece, Brazil, and France, after barely making the playoffs with a 2-3 record in group play.
The Americans held pesky Serbian point guard and defensive sieve Milos Teodosic to 10 points. Teodosic was the only non-NBA player to make the All-Tournament team, joining USA’s Irving & Kenneth Faried, Spain’s center Pau Gasol, and France forward Nicolas Batum. Tournament MVP Irving had the more impressive final, but Faried paced the U.S. throughout the tournament with ferocious defense and rebounding.
Plumlee becomes the second current member of the Nets to win a FIBA World Championship, after Derrick Coleman accomplished the feat in 1994. After he finishes celebrating in Spain, it’s back to the U.S. for Nets training camp, which opens in two weeks. Plumlee is also expected at Deron Williams’s Celebrity Dodge Barrage on Monday, less than 24 hours after winning the gold. Busy week.