Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Germany defeat Italy to reach the quarter-finals

AP , MADRID

Italy's Andrea Bargnani, left, tries to stop Germany's Demond Green during their FIBA European Championship Group F match at the Madrid Arena in Madrid on Wednesday.

PHOTO: EPA

Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday to lead Germany over Italy 67-58 and into the quarter-finals of the European Basketball Championships.

Nowitzki hit a three-pointer with 4 minutes, 49 seconds to play in the fourth to extend Germany's lead to seven. The Dallas Mavericks star then made two free throws with 33 seconds to play.

"We needed this win, we all played together. Sometimes things go your way when you work hard, you get your reward," Germany guard Johannes Herber said.

Herber also scored 15 for Germany, including a key three-pointer down the stretch.

Marco Belinelli, who limped off with an ankle injury midway through the second period but returned to play, led Italy with 25 points. Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani added 10 points.

Germany will face world champions Spain in the quarter-finals.

Ramunas Siskauskas scored 21 points to help Lithuania beat Slovenia 80-61. Forward Darius Songaila of the Washington Wizards added 17 as the 2003 champions kept their unbeaten streak at the tournament.

Guard Jaka Lakovic led Slovenia with 15 points and three steals.

Lithuania plays Croatia and Slovenia take on defending champions Greece today.

France beat winless Turkey 85-64 in a meaningless Group F game.

Boris Diaw led France with 18 points and Tariq Kirksay added 15. Tony Parker, France's best player, played only 21 minutes and scored six points.

"I don't know if you want to say it was a practice game, but we wanted to work on some stuff. And we wanted to win and we got some players some confidence," Kirksay said.

Kaya Peker led Turkey with 19 points.

"I hope this doesn't do immense damage to Turkish basketball," guard Engin Atsur said.

Nowitzki finished the third quarter on the bench, and Germany stretched their lead to 46-37 without him. He had eight points in the fourth.

Italy started fast. Belinelli, drafted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors, went four-of-five from the field in the first quarter to get Italy an 18-12 lead.

Stefano Mancinelli scored Italy's only field goal of the second quarter with a layup with 14 seconds to go, but the game was tied at 27 at halftime.

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