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Gasol brothers lead Spain past Germany

 Germany's Dirk Nowitzki, right, challenges for the ball with Spain's Pau Gasol, during their EuroBasket European Basketball Championship Group E matc...

Lithuania Basketball EuroBasket

Germany's Dirk Nowitzki, right, challenges for the ball with Spain's Pau Gasol, during their EuroBasket European Basketball Championship Group E matc...

Pau and Marc Gasol combined for 43 points to lead defending champion Spain past Dirk Nowitzki's Germany 77-68 at the European basketball championship on Wednesday.
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies scored 24 points and his older brother Pau, the Los Angeles Lakers center, added 19 as Spain led throughout most of the match.
Germany became sloppy down the stretch, and the loss leaves it close to missing the quarterfinals.
Nowitzki of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Chris Kaman of the Los Angeles Clippers led Germany with 19 and 15 points, respectively, but both shot under 50 percent from the field. Kaman added 12 rebounds for a double-double.
Since head-to-head results from the first group stage carry over into this round, Germany is now 0-3, while Spain is 2-1 in their Group E. Four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals.
"We kept the lead basically in the whole match but we never had the big run to break open the game," Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. "We did a good job on their stars. They scored but we kept them to a low percentage."
Spain took a nine-point lead on Pau Gasol's basket with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter. But Germany kept coming back and Nowitzki's consecutive baskets at the end of the third and the start of the fourth put Germany up by one.
But with Spain up by seven with less than 2 minutes less, Germany missed a couple of shots _ including a jumper by Nowitzki _ and Ricky Rubio had an important steal to help Spain cruise home.
"We could not get the important baskets and rebounds at the end, and we turned the ball over too much," Germany forward Johannes Herber said.
The Gasol brothers scored Spain's last nine points, seven coming from Pau. Marc had only two in the fourth quarter, a pair of free throws that had given Spain the seven-point lead with just over two minutes remaining. The brothers also had 12 rebounds between them.
Germany had twice as many turnovers at 16.
"That's too many at a European championship," Nowitzki said. "We are not far from the top teams but in the decisive phase they switch into a higher gear and we make a couple of mistakes. That makes the difference."
"We couldn't play our running game, they stopped us very well, but we took control in the last five minutes," said Rubio, the recent Minnesota Timberwolves signing.
Germany coach Dirk Bauermann said his team did everything it could "to make life as difficult as possible" for the defending champion.
"But in the fourth we either missed the shot or turned the ball over," he said.


Updated : 2021-03-03 04:49 GMT+08:00