It wasn’t really a contest. The United States lifted the FIBA World Cup on cruise control, hammering Serbia 129-92 in Madrid to claim the trophy for a record-equalling fifth time, fuelled by 26 points from NBA star Kyrie Irving, who was named MVP.

After taking a shock 12-5 lead, the Serbs were torn apart with the defending champions seizing control with 15 consecutive points on their way to a 67-41 half-time lead.

And the Americans were relentless, going as much as 40 in front to underline their superiority and capture the trophy for a record-equalling fifth time.

“Whenever you win again, it’s the sweetest one because no-one guarantees the sweets,” USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

“This first five minutes of tonight’s game, they knocked us back. I thought DeMarcus Cousins had about five plays in the middle of the first half that turned into a positive eight points for us and our whole team gelled. Obviously Kyrie and James (Harden) were amazing.

“But this has been a great group to work with. They always wanted to work. They always came prepared. And I’m proud of them. They stayed focused on the team they were going to play next. They respected the process. And the process turned out really good.”

FIBA World Cup All-Star Five Milos Teodosic, Kyrie Irving, Nicolas Batum, Pau Gasol, Kenneth Faried

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