Chauncey Billups scored 15 points and handed out five assists in the USA's 89-79 quarterfinals victory over Russia in Istanbul, Turkey on Sept. 9, 2010. Kevin Durant's (Oklahoma City Thunder) 33-point scoring outburst and the USA's wear 'em down defense were the difference Thursday night as the U.S. grinded out an 89-79 victory over Russia (5-2) to advance to the 2010 FIBA World Championship medal round semifinals. Durant's 33-point performance, which came on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 8-of-9 free throw accuracy, tied for the third most all-time by a USA player in World Championship action.
The USA improved to 7-0 with the hard fought victory and next meets undefeated Lithuania (7-0) on Saturday in a medal semifinals match. Lithuania easily handled Argentina 104-85 in Thursday's other quarterfinals contest. The USA defeated Lithuania 77-61 on Aug. 21 in an exhibition contest in Madrid, Spain, and the U.S. is 0-1 all-time in World Championship games versus Lithuania having lost 84-82 in the 1998 World Championship.
Aiding the USA's winning effort Thursday night with 15 points and five assists was Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets). Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 12 points and three steals, while Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) worked the inside and recorded 12 rebounds and two steals to go with six points.
The U.S., behind seven Durant points, took an early 15-9 lead. Russia countered late in the first period with a 7-0 run and the first quarter finished in a draw 25-25.
Russia outscored the Americans 10-5 over the second quarter's first 5:12 to grab control 35-30. Following a USA timeout, the U.S. came to life and assembled a 12-0 run that saw it move ahead 42-35 with 1:08 in the quarter. At halftime the USA owned a 44-39 lead.