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V2M
08-20-2006, 08:04 AM
Germany 80, New Zealand 56
By JIM O'CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer
August 20, 2006

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) -- Germany showed there is a lot more to its team than Dirk Nowitzki.

Germany used the 3-pointer and some staunch defense to overcome a poor shooting game from its NBA star and beat New Zealand 80-56 on Sunday in the opening round of the FIBA world championships.

"Dirk rarely has a game like that, maybe one in 50," Germany coach Dirk Bauermann said of his star's 11-point effort on 3-for-13 shooting. "It wasn't a Dirk Nowitzki-like percentage but he passed well, rebounded, never forced anything and just helped his team win a basketball game."

The 7-foot Nowitzki, who led the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA finals, had eight rebounds, five assists and teammates who picked him up on an off night.

"They were great and we played great defense in the first half and offensively, it was impressive the way we were moving the ball," he said.

Nowitzki was 1-for-7 from the field in the first half, a far cry from his 6-for-7 start in the opening win over Japan when he scored 27 points.

It didn't matter, however, because his teammates were on from long range, going 10-for-19 from beyond the arc in taking a 38-17 halftime lead in this rematch of the bronze medal game from the 2002 worlds, which was won by Germany.

Robert Garrett had four of the first-half 3s for Germany (2-0), which held a 23-13 rebound advantage after 20 minutes, holding New Zealand (0-2) to 23 percent shooting (5-for-22), including 2-for-12 on 3s.

"It's my job to come off the bench and be effective," Garrett said. "When I made my first shot it felt good and they kept coming and coming."

When New Zealand started the second half with three 3-pointers to get within 43-26, Germany called a timeout. Nowitzki then had a conventional three-point play to end the run and get the lead back to 20.

"We made a slight impression at the start of the second half but Germany regrouped well," New Zealand coach Tab Baldwin said. "They really smothered us in the first half. We just couldn't get to the basket and they got a hand on anything we tried to do and they never let up."

Demond Greene had 18 points and Garrett added 14 for Germany, while Nowitzki finished with 11.

Germany finished 16-for-34 from 3-point range and had a 44-24 rebound advantage.

"You're not going to go 16-for-34 every night but you can still play defense, make the right play and get to the basket," Nowitzki said.

Kirk Penney had 12 points for New Zealand, which played again without starting point guard Mark Dickel, who was suspended by FIBA for 10 days following a positive drug test. Dickel, who tested positive for cannabis last month with the results released Aug. 11, will miss one more game, on Monday against Angola. He will be back for the final two opening-round games against Japan and Panama.

"We have to take this on the chin and regroup after a great performance by Germany," Baldwin said.

Paul Henare, who has started at point guard in Dickel's absence, said: "It's pretty much a must-win game against Angola."

Germany's next game is the one everyone has been waiting for in Group B. Spain, and Pau Gasol, its NBA star from the Memphis Grizzlies, will be the opponent Monday and the winner should finish on top of the six-team group.

"This was very good for us the way everybody played well today," said Germany forward Ademola Okulaja, who played at North Carolina from 1995-99. "The whole team played well and that's what you want going into a game like Spain. You know they were watching this and now they a lot more to think about rather than one guy."

Bauermann knows he'll see a different Nowitzki in the next game.

"I'm expecting a vintage Dirk Nowitzki-type performance against Spain," he said.

V2M
08-20-2006, 08:12 AM
This sets up for an interesting clash against Gasol/Spain on Monday. Both Germany and Spain are 2-0 and the winner of this game has a good chance of finishing at the top of the Group B.

fluid.forty.one
08-20-2006, 04:21 PM
Pau is going to choke...again.

nashtymavsfan13
08-20-2006, 05:54 PM
Good to hear that Dirk played well even on an off shooting night. Sounds like his passing was good.

dude1394
08-20-2006, 07:56 PM
Pau is pretty studly. the only guy on the mavs that could handle him was dampier. It will be interesting.

shaw-xx
08-24-2006, 12:37 AM
Dirk hasn't dominated much in this tourney like four years ago and last years. It feels like he's really tired. Last season he played more games than ever and I think he needs more relaxed during the offseason than ever. Nothing against German team and I kinda support them. But, the more I watch the sooner I wish their game finishes. He looks tired in the summer.

nashtymavsfan13
08-24-2006, 02:14 AM
He just dominated against Angola with 47 and 16 including a game tying three to send it to OT and game tying FT's to send it to triple OT!!!

shaw-xx
08-24-2006, 02:17 AM
Yeah, 3 OTs! He played clutch but 3 OTs which I hate! Good that he will get some rest before next game....

mqywaaah
08-24-2006, 04:52 AM
Angola and NZ aint nothin compared to "THE" Dirk-greatness!

Jp :P

Dirkgreatness
08-24-2006, 09:25 AM
Angola and NZ aint nothin compared to "THE" Dirk-greatness!

Jp :P

HECKS YEAH! LOL

MavsX
08-25-2006, 08:03 AM
dirk dirk dirk