Two Pacers went head-to-head on Friday in the Philippines in the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Daniel Theis and Germany ultimately prevailed, stunning Tyrese Haliburton and the United States, 113-111.
Theis had his strongest showing of the tournament, scoring 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting and pulling down seven rebounds to help Germany advance to the final against Serbia.
Haliburton had seven points and a team-high eight assists for the Americans, who outscored Germany by 14 points with Haliburton on the floor.
Friday's contest was high scoring and tightly contested. Haliburton's first points came just before halftime, with a three that broke a 57-57 tie. Theis answered with a putback on the other end to make it a one-point game at the intermission, part of a 13-point, four-assist first half for the Pacers' veteran big man.
Germany gradually built up a lead in the second half. Theis' tip-in of his own miss with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter put Germany up 66-64 and they never relinquished the lead for the rest of the game.
The Germans led by 10 entering the fourth quarter and were up 106-94 following Johannes Thiemann's jumper with 5:23 to play. With Haliburton on the floor, the Americans came storming back, cutting the deficit to one following two Austin Reaves free throws with 1:35 remaining.
Germany got some breathing room on the other end, when Dennis Schröder connected with Andreas Obst on a baseline inbounds play. Obst got Haliburton to bite on a pump-fake, then drained a corner three to push the lead back to four.
Isaac Bonga blocked Mikal Bridges on the other end, Theis secured the rebound, and Schröder converted a step-back jumper. That sequence proved to be enough to secure the victory for Germany.
Obst had 24 points and went 4-for-8 from 3-point range for Germany in the win. Orlando Magic wing Franz Wagner added 22 points and five veterans, while NBA veteran Schröder added 17 points and nine assists.
Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards had a team-high 23 points and eight assists for the United States. Lakers guard Reaves had 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, Nets forward Bridges scored 17, and Knicks guard Jalen Brunson finished with 15 points and seven assists.
The United States will face Canada in the bronze medal game on Sunday at 4:30 AM ET. They will finish better than they did in the last World Cup in 2019, when they came in seventh, but will not be winning the world championship for a sixth time.
Germany has reached the World Cup final for the first time ever and will play for the gold medal against Serbia at 8:40 AM ET on Sunday.