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IC Cold Links: Granger Golden, Team USA Beats Turkey To Claim Gold At FIBA World Championship

Team USA finished their FIBA World Championship run in strong fashion with an 81-64 win over Turkey to earn the gold medal for the first time in 16 years.

More talented rosters have let gold slip away in that time, but this U.S. team relied on its strengths -- defense and, well, Kevin Durant -- and found a way to control games throughout the tournament. That isn't to say this team was void of talent, in fact time may reveal that this team was fully loaded and thus the gold medal a mere by product. But for now that talent is quite young and inexperienced save for Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom. The players and coach Mike Krzyzewski deserve a lot of credit along with that gold medal  for staying on point and executing their winning game plan.

Durant again paced the way with 28 points including 20 in the first half which helped the U.S. team seize the game after a tight start. Whenever, and from wherever, Durant rose to launch his silky stroke the ball seemed destined for the bottom of the net. Lamar Odom also held down the middle with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu was dinged up in the first half but finished with 16 points for Turkey, a surprise silver medalist in this tournament.

Danny Granger was among the players out of the playing rotation for the championship game although he did finish the game on the court in the final minute and looked absolutely psyched to take home a gold medal with his teammates. Eric Gordon played 13 minutes but missed all five of his shot attempts. His international experience was fabulous and should raise his profile in the NBA heading into the upcoming season.

After the jump, a few links of interest with stories wrapping up the WCs and a look at unresolved issues still facing the Pacers.