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 US edges Brazil in basketball thriller

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Join date : 2010-06-10
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PostSubject: US edges Brazil in basketball thriller    Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:21 am

ISTANBUL – The United States barely passed their first real test of the world basketball championships, holding on to beat a determined Brazil 70-68 here on Monday to reach the quarterfinals.

The United States was under no illusions as to the work that would be required to overcome Brazil on Monday evening but the result was closer than some would have expected.

Whereas the Americans had shared the workload around in their opening two games, most of the work fell on the shoulders of young superstar Kevin Durant as he stepped up to lead his team with a game high 27 point, 10 rebound performance.

Derrick Rose (11 points) and Chauncey Billups (15 points) were the only other two Americans to break into double figures on the score-sheet.

After cruising in their opening two games, the United States were caught off guard by Brazil early with Tiago Splitter (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Marcus Viera (16 points) rattling the American defence, leading their team to 46-43 half-time lead.

USA lifted their game following the break, taking the lead 53-50 in the 35th minute. It was the first time that the USA had held the lead since the second minute. It was a lead that ultimately they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

Durant will be lauded as the saviour of USA, but it could have easily gone the other way when he fouled Marcelo Huertas as he attempted to tie the game up at 70-70 with just 3 seconds remaining.

Huerta's shot missed, seeing him step up to the line for two free throws. He missed his first, and then missed the second on purpose, claiming his own rebound before off loading to team mate Leandro Barbosa under the hoop. However Barbosa could not make the shot, which saw the USA hold on.
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