2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final: United States’ Dominating Victory Over Serbia

The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup final was a thrilling encounter between the United States and Serbia, showcasing top-tier basketball talent on a global stage.

Played on 14 September 2014 at Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, this game marked a historic moment as the United States and Serbia faced off for the first time following Montenegro’s secession.

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final: United States’ Dominating Victory Over Serbia

Game Analysis

At the World Cup, this was Serbia and the United States’ first encounter.

Serbia jumped off to a 10–5 lead by making their first five strokes of the match. Serbia scored again during the US timeout, and the Americans went on a 17-3 run to take a seven-point lead. The USA led 35–21 after three-pointers from Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson. The United States led by 26 points at the half after making six more three-pointers in the second quarter.

The Americans took the biggest advantage around the halfway mark of the third quarter, scoring 39 points. The biggest margin in a World Cup final since the USA defeated Russia 137-91 at the 1994 FIBA World Championship was the final deficit of 37 points and the total number of points scored (129). The Americans also tied the Yugoslavs for the most titles won with five, and they became the third team after Brazil and Yugoslavia to successfully defend the world crown.

The Americans won all nine games by an average of 32.5 points, made it to the 2016 Summer Olympics, and shot 58% from the field and 50% from beyond the three-point line during the contest. The tournament MVP was declared to be Kyrie Irving.

The Serbian team returned to Belgrade to a boisterous reception after their defeat. Since Yugoslavia’s victory over Argentina in the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, this was the best result for a national team with players from Serbia.

Also Read: 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final: Spain Clinches Victory Against Argentina

America’s Journey Through The World Cup

As the reigning Olympic champions, the Americans earned their spot by defeating Spain in the gold medal match of 2012. One of the teams with a seed in the draw was the United States. In the end, they were put into Group C along with Finland, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, and Ukraine.

Finland was the wild card that the United States met in their opening match. After building a 60–18 advantage at the half, the United States won for the first time ever. Turkey led by five points at the half in the 2010 championship rematch, but the Americans outscored the Turks 63–37 in the second half to win their second straight game.

To maintain their perfect record in group play, the United States defeated New Zealand handily in their subsequent match. They subsequently defeated the Dominican Republic 106–71 to take the lead in the group. The Americans overcame Ukraine to complete group play unbeaten, earning their seventh straight victory by double digits.

In the round of 16, the US overcame Mexico with a 23-point victory despite Gustavo Ayon’s game-high 25 points. In the quarterfinal round, Slovenians held the Americans scoreless for the opening two minutes of the match. However, after the Americans took the lead, they went on a 7-0 run and never looked back.

The semifinal was a rematch of Lithuania’s 2010 semifinal; the latter team led the USA 10 to 9 at the end of the first quarter after Klay Thompson’s goal. The USA secured a return to the final with an unanswered 10–0 run at the start of the third quarter, despite the Lithuanians staying in close range throughout the first half.

Serbia’s Journey Through The World Cup

Serbia earned a spot in the FIBA EuroBasket 2013 after placing seventh. Together with the hosts, Spain, France, Brazil, Iran, and Egypt, the Serbs were assigned to Group A.

Serbia easily defeated Egypt in their opening match, with Milos Teodosic leading the way with 15 points. The next game the Serbs played was against France. After falling behind at the half, Edwin Jackson made three three-pointers to keep France in the game. With four seconds remaining, Boris Diaw knotted the score, and then Joffrey Lauvergne scored from the free-throw line to hand Serbia their first defeat. The following game, Serbia won 83–70, and Hamed Haddadi’s 29 points were insufficient for Iran.

Just before halftime, Serbia forced Haddadi to commit his fourth foul, thwarting his plans. Even though Haddadi’s Serbian guards struggled with foul trouble as well, they managed to survive. After that, the Serbs were defeated by Brazil, despite six three-pointers from Marcus Vieira. Despite finishing fourth in the group after losing 73-89 to Spain in their last group match, Serbia was guaranteed a spot in the next round.

In the round of 16, Serbia played Greece, the champions of Group B. Nikola Kalinic’s three-point basket gave the Greeks a decisive lead after they had taken the lead late in the first half. In the third quarter, Serbia held Greece to just 13 points, which helped them win. With four more Serbs scoring in double digits including a game-high 21 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia advanced to the quarterfinals.

All of the Group A teams advanced to the quarterfinals, where Brazil and Serbia will face off again. Tiago Splitter and Nene were called for technical fouls in the third quarter, with Brazil remaining close to the score the entire time. Serbia took a seven-point lead and never looked back.

After defeating Spain, France advanced to the semifinals where they would face Serbia again. Serbia took a 30–15 lead after a 9–0 run in the second quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, France reduced the lead to 10. With five minutes remaining, three-pointers from Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, and Boris Diaw reduced the margin to four points.

With 48 seconds remaining, the French hit three more three-pointers to trim the margin to three, but Teodosic and Bogdanovic had already extended the lead to nine points with their own baskets. Teodosic missed a field goal, but Thomas Heurtel made both free throws to trim the lead to one point. Heurtel made two free throws in response to Teodosic’s foul, after which Marko Simonovic converted both of his free throws to give Serbia the victory. Batum subsequently scored a three-pointer for France.

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