Posted Sep 9 2009 9:53PM
WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Pau Gasol scored nine of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to carry world champion Spain past Britain 84-76 Tuesday at the European basketball championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers center scored on a put back, made a free throw and a 3-pointer to put Spain ahead for good at 74-73. That put the world champions back on track in the quest for a first European title.
"We kept our nerves under control and we also hit some important shots and played some good defense," coach Sergio Scariolo said. "We stay alive and stay in the competition."
Earlier, Germany upset defending champion Russia 76-73 behind 19 points and 11 rebounds from Jan-Hendrik Jagla.
Russia, which only has three players from the team that upset Spain in the 2007 final, fell behind early and trailed by double digits for most of the game, before narrowing the gap to 68-67 on two free throws from forward Nikita Kurbanov with just under two minutes to play.
But Heiko Schaffartzik hit a 3-pointer for Germany, which held on for its first win in Group B. Germany is without NBA star Dirk Nowitzki.
Russia clearly missed the top two players from its 2007 squad -- guard J.R. Holden and Andrei Kirilenko. But the Russians lost at the line, where they made just 28 of 49 free throws.
"I don't know what to say about the free throws," said Russia coach David Blatt. "Sometimes it's contagious. If you see one guy miss, others miss as well."
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker scored 23 points to lead France past Latvia 60-51 and atop Group B with two wins.
In Group C, a young Serbia looked nothing like the squad that stunned Spain on Monday, falling to a hot-shooting Slovenia 80-69.
Lithuania struggled in an 86-75 loss to host Poland. Turkey cruised past Bulgaria 94-66.
In Group A, Macedonia defeated Israel 82-79, and Greece improved to 2-0 with a 76-68 win over Croatia.
|Frank Vogel on Matchups|
Frank Vogel talks about some of the key matchups heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
|Chris Bosh on Forcing Turnovers|
Chris Bosh speaks with the media prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals about the importance of turnovers in the series.
|Spurs Practice Sound|
The Spurs talk to the media at practice about how they plan to seal a Game 3 victory against the Grizzlies in their series.
|Wade on Heat Bench|
Miami's Dwyane Wade values the contribution of the players coming off the bench for the Heat.
|Wade on Game 1|
Miami's Dwyane Wade talks about his injury, his motivation and taking on the Pacers in Game 1.