Nowitzki's 33 Leads Germany Past Turkey, Meet Slovenia In Quarters

By David Hein

Dirk Nowitzki scored 33 points as Germany's defense shut down Turkey 66-57 on Tuesday in Vrsac, setting up a EuroBasket 2005 quarter-final show with Slovenia.

The Dallas Mavericks star had his third double-double of the tournament, collecting 10 rebounds as well as three blocks and an assist at the Millenium Center.

Slovenia, who went undefeated in Group C, will face Germany on Friday in their quarter-final in Belgrade.

Pascal Roller (Germany)
Pascal Roller stepped up for Germany against Turkey
The Germans seem to motivate themselves by trailing double digits. After coming back from large deficits against Italy (only to later blow a 10-point fourth quarter lead) and Russia, Dirk Bauermann's team found themselves trailing 31-19 halfway through the second and 34-27 at the break.

The Turks were up 38-29 early in the third, but Pascal Roller hit back-to-back three-pointers and Dirk Nowitzki scored 13 straight points - his three with 2:58 evening the game at 45-45. Germany were up two - 48-46 after three periods.

Bauermann said Roller's two three-pointers were the turning point.

"Those were huge shots. It was important that somebody else other than Dirk hit some shots," the coach said.

And Nowitzki got help in the fourth quarter as well. Mithat Demirel and Robert Maras combined for 10 points as Germany pulled away from the Turks, outscoring them 28-11 in the fourth. The German defense allowed just 23 points in the second half.

Bauermann called Nowitzki's performance Superman-like. "He makes every team in the world look great. It was super human what he did tonigiht. He made shots you have to be Superman to make."

Nowitzki came into the game shooting 39 per cent from the field. On Tuesday, he made 8-15 from the field including 3-5 on threes. He also hit 14 of 15 free throws.

"It's impossible to stop him," Turkish coach Bogdan Tanjevic said of Nowitzki. "I'm really satisfied with my team and how they played against him. He made some very very difficult shots in crucial times."

Hidayet Turkoglu missed four free throws and committed a charging foul in the last seven minutes as Turkey tried coming back.

Kaya Peker led the Turks with 16 points. Serkan Erdogan and Emal Kurtoglu each scored 11 while Hidayet Turkoglu scored 10 on 2-15 shooting.

Turkey started the second straight game with Utah Jazz star Mehmet Okur and lethal wing player Mirsad Turkcan on the bench. Okur finished with just two points and nine rebounds and Turkcan had five.

"We needed another shoooter to get some points from the outside," Tanjevic said.

Sharp-shooting Ibrahim Kutluay was forced out of his second game with a broken finger on his shooting hand.

"I'm a leader and the captain, and I could have helped my team in the crucial moments. But it's easy to talk after the game," Kutluay said.

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