France Slip Past Germany

07.09.2009

By David Hein

Game Summary

Turning point: Tony Parker nailed a three-pointer with 2:38 left to put France ahead 62-61 after Germany saw two triples go in and out just before that.

Hero: Parker finished the game with France's final 11 points.

Stats: Five was the biggest lead of the game and there 11 lead changes and seven ties.

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Tony Parker scored his team's final 11 points to help France fend off up-start Germany with a 70-65 victory in their opening match of Group B at EuroBasket 2009.

Parker had a game-high 19 points as well as six rebounds and four assists while Ronny Turiaf collected 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks for Vincent Collet's team, which reached Poland through the Additional Qualifying Round.

Nicolas Batum added 12 points and nine rebounds in helping France out-rebound Germany 46-32 though Les Bleus made just 18 of 33 foul shots (55 percent).

"It's always very important to start a European competition like this very, very well. We came out of the gates a little jitterish. But we did a good job weathering the storm because they played really good in the first half," said Turiaf, who could not stop Germany from leading at intermission 37-33.

"Afterwards we did a good job sticking with them. So that shows us that regardless of what people want to say about us - we can't make our free throws we can't do this or that - we can play defense. That's the one thing we base ourselves on."

Germany, who have five players 21 years old or younger, committed just 10 turnovers and were led by 13 points from Sven Schultze. Demond Greene hit for 12 points and Patrick Femerling chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

"Overall you have to be satisfied with how we played. A lot of people thought that we would be a push over here. But we're not and we proved that today. We have to proud of ourselves because we played hard and stuck to the game plan except the final minutes," said German coach Dirk Bauermann, whose team made just one basket in the final four minutes.

"At the end of the day, they played better than us in the last five minutes. If you let that happen, you'll lose a game like that."

Steffen Hamann added nine points, four rebounds and five assists in a losing effort.

Germany used the long ball to stay in the game in the first quarter with Jan Jagla, Greene and Schultze all hitting from long range in helping Germany to a 17-14 lead after one quarter.

Bauermann's team struggled to keep under wraps French big man Turiaf, who had six points, four rebounds and two blocks in the first quarter.

The young Germans pushed the gap to 24-19 early in the second period and it was 27-22 after another Greene triple. But France began taking control of the rebounding and used the foul shot to chip to within 33-32.

Hamann answered with a driving layup as Germany went into intermission ahead 37-33.

Germany's all-time appearance holder Femerling scored back-to-back baskets for a 41-37 advantage. The Germans however lost their rhythm offensively and scored just two baskets in six minutes and watched the NBA duo of Boris Diaw and Turiaf push France ahead 46-45 with a 9-4 run.

Heiko Schaffartzik nailed a three-pointer to put Germany back ahead but France held them scoreless the final two minutes for a 50-48 lead after three periods.

Schultze knocked down two triples and eight of Germany's first 10 points of the fourth quarter in keeping Deutschland ahead 58-55. France watched as Greene nailed another long ball for a 61-59 lead.

But Schaffartzik and Greene both had triples go in and out, missing a chance of increasing Germany's lead to four points. And then Parker knocked down a trey of his own before converting a tough layup to start an 11-4 run by himself against Germany.


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