USA Blue Team Captures 100-81 Win Over USA White In 2009 USA Basketball Showcase
Featuring five players in double-figure scoring, including 20 points from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas), the USA Blue Team fought back to erase an early deficit and capture a 100-81 win over the USA White Team in the 2009 USA Basketball Showcase on Saturday night at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The Showcase was the culmination of the 2009 USA Basketball Men's National Team Mini-Camp, which featured participation from 20 players and practice sessions on Thursday and Friday in Las Vegas.
'Jerry (Colangelo) had the idea to do this, and we all felt it would be good, but I think it was great,' said Mike Krzyzewski, who was named Tuesday head coach of the USA Men's National Team program for 2009-2012. 'Jerry just got through talking to them, and I said a few words and you could feel the sense of pride from all the guys. We had four really good days here, all these guys have built up USA equity, let's put it that way.'
Durant, who shot a 9-of-9 from the free throw line, also recorded eight rebounds and four assists, while Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets / Stanford) added 18 points on a 7-of-8 shooting performance from the field, and Kyle Korver (Utah Jazz / Creighton), Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers / Georgia Tech) and Anthony Randolph (Golden State Warriors / LSU) also helped USA Blue with 12 points each.
'I just wanted to play an all-around game - rebound, score, pass, play defense,' Durant said. 'So, I could have done better on the defensive end, but I think overall we played a good team game.'
USA White Team member Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies / Connecticut) drilled 11-of-12 attempts from the field and 3-4 from 3-point, to finish as the game's high scorer with 27 points; O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies / USC) added 13 points and four assists for the U.S. White squad; and Ronnie Brewer (Utah Jazz / Arkansas) contributed 11 points and a game high six steals.
'This is bigger than the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls,' Gay said. 'It's bigger than that. It's about your country, and I think everybody pretty much gave their all and tried as hard as they could.'
Gay, who tallied eight points in the first period alone, sank a jumper at 7:53 to give White an early 6-2 lead. The Blue team countered with a 9-2 spurt and at 6:05 had recaptured an 11-8 lead following an Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers / Arizona) 3-pointer. USA White answered right back, however, and closed the first period with a 15-4 run, and at the game's first break, the White Team led 23-15.
Midway through the second period, with 4:37 on the clock, the Blue had fought back to pull within four, 31-27. Gay again sparked his team and tallied five points during a 12-6 run that restored the White lead to 43-33 after a Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder / Georgetown) long ball at 1:35. With just 1:15 remaining before the halftime buzzer, the action was far from over. A 3-pointer from Durant and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder / UCLA) and an old-fashioned three-point play from Lopez helped USA Blue close with a 9-0 run and cut the deficit to one, 43-42.
The third period was all USA Blue as nine players combined for 30 points while USA White managed just 17. Following a Brewer bucket for the White at 6:14, USA Blue closed the third quarter with another run - this time a 19-5 spurt that left the score 72-60 heading into the final stanza.
Neither team let up in the last 10 minutes, but despite nine fourth-period points from Mayo, Blue maintained its advantage and outscored White 28-21 to capture a 100-81 win.
USA Blue outrebounded White 36-32, shot 51.4 percent (37-72 FGs) compared to White's 43.1 percent form the field (31-72 FGs) and sank 19-of-22 free throws (.864), while White was 11-of-16 from the charity stripe (.688).
Tyrone Corbin (Utah Jazz) and Dave Cowens (Detroit Pistons) coached the USA Blue Team, while Kenny Gattison and Jerry Sichting (Minnesota Timberwolves) led the USA White Team.