France Stuns Germany in Final Seconds
SAITAMA, Japan, Aug. 31 (Ticker) -- Germany's Dirk Nowitzki had another big game, but France made all the big plays.
Boris Diaw made a steal and found fellow NBA player Mickael Gelabale for the winning basket with 1.8 seconds left as France stunned Germany, 75-73, in a classification game at the World Championships.
France (5-3) erased a three-point deficit in the final 25 seconds and will face Turkey for fifth place. Germany (5-3) absorbed its second straight loss and will meet Lithuania for seventh place.
Limited to 15 points in Wednesday's loss to Team USA, Nowitzki bounced back with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting. The superstar forward of the Dallas Mavericks had 21 points after halftime.
Germany held a 73-70 lead after two free throws by Ademola Okulaja with 1:03 to play. France's Joseph Gomis tied it with a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go, then made a big defensive play, stealing the ball from Okulaja.
Robert Garrett fouled Diaw, the versatile swingman of the Phoenix Suns, who missed both free throws. Germany's Demond Greene rebounded and threw a pass upcourt that was picked off by Diaw.
He threw ahead to Gelabale, a rookie with the Seattle SuperSonics, who scored over Nowitzki. Germany called timeout and inbounded from midcourt to Nowitzki, who stepped out of bounds in the left corner trying to position himself for a shot.
Gomis made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Los Angeles Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf added 15 points and Diaw 13 for France, which shot 43 percent (26-of-60) and held a 40-29 rebounding edge.
Steffen Hamann scored 12 points, Garrett added 10 and Okulaja nine and 10 boards for Germany, which also shot 43 percent (28-of-65).