September 09, 2015

BERLIN (AP) Marco Belinelli nailed a three pointer with 20 seconds remaining in overtime and then made two free throws to secure Italy's 89-82 victory over Germany at the European basketball championship on Wednesday.

Italy will now play Serbia for first place in the tough Group B. Serbia stayed unbeaten by defeating Turkey 91-72 earlier Wednesday.

Defending champion France needed to overcome a 13-point deficit before beating winless Russia 74-67 at home in Group A in Montpellier.

France (4-0) trailed by six before putting together a 10-0 run that gave it the victory. Jeoffrey Lauvergne had seven points in that run. Nando de Colo led France with 13 points, while Vitaly Fridzon had 20 for Russia.

Guard Milos Teodosic had 17 points and 13 assists, as Serbia stayed perfect with a 4-0 record, while Turkey fell to 2-2. Italy is 3-1, while Germany is 1-3 and needs to beat Spain on the final group day Thursday to advance.

Spain eased past Iceland 99-73, but not before seeing the newcomer take a four-point lead in the second quarter. But Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic quickly restored order. Mirotic had 22 points and Gasol 21.

Greece also improved to 4-0 and booked a place in the knockout stage by beating Slovenia 83-72 in Group C in Zagreb, Croatia. Georgia notched its first by topping Macedonia (1-3) 90-75. Host Croatia (3-1) struggled before beating the Netherlands 78-72.

Finland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 88-59 to go 2-2, while Bosnia dropped to 1-3 in a Group A game in Montpellier. Israel (3-1) edged Poland (2-2) 75-73.

The Czech Republic beat Belgium 66-64 in Group D in Riga, Latvia, for its third win. Belgium is 2-2.

Ukraine won its first by surprising host Latvia (2-2) 75-74, while Lithuania (3-1), playing with the ill star center Jonas Valanciunas, needed two free throws from Jonas Maciulis with two seconds remaining to beat Estonia (1-3) 64-62.

The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout stage that will be held in Lille, France.

Belinelli, the hero of Italy's big win over Spain the night before with 24 points, didn't score his first against Germany until the third quarter, but five of his 17 came in overtime.

Danilo Gallinari, who forced overtime with a jumper, put Italy 84-82 ahead. He also nailed the big 3-pointer and then made both free throws with 11 seconds remaining to secure the win.

In between, Dennis Schroeder lost the ball in a drive to the basket and Dirk Nowitzki also fumbled a ball.

Schroeder finished with 29 points, most of them with speedy drives inside, but scored none in overtime. He had seven assists but also six turnovers.

Nowitzki had 14 points and 10 rebounds, but was only 4-for-13 from the field.

Italy won in overtime despite having Andrea Bargnani and Alessandro Gentile foul out. Bargnani had 17 points, while Gallinari led Italy with 25.

Serbia's swarming defense and sharp shooting gave it a 16-point lead after the first quarter, ending all suspense.

''Your attack can win you a game or two, but it's the defense that wins the championship and the players have understood that,'' Serbia coach Sasa Djordjevic said. ''We played good defense the entire game, we ran the ball well, we had good fast breaks and we had a lot of assists.''

The Serbs made four of their eight 3-point attempts in the first quarter, while their big men did a lot of damage inside. Center Miroslav Raduljica finished with 20 points.

Forward Nikola Kalinic scored 15 points while making all three 3-point attempts.

Turkey's American-born guard, Ali Muhammed, led his team with 16 points and center Semih Erden added 14, but Turkey appeared without energy after its emotional victory over Germany a day earlier.

Teodosic also had three rebounds and one steal, with no turnovers.

In Zagreb, guard Vassilis Spanoulis paced Greece with 19 points and six assists. Georgios Printezis added 16 points. Jaka Blazic had 27 points for Slovenia, and Zoran Dragic 22.

Tomas Satoranski made one free throw to seal the Czechs' win in Riga, and finished with 14 points, and nine assists. Jan Vesely had 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Jamar Wilson had 16 points to lead five Finland players in double digits.

Oleksandr Lypovyy made two free throws with 15 second remaining to lift Ukraine and finish with 15 points. Kyrylo Fesenko had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Ukraine.

Zaza Pachulia had 23 points and 14 rebounds to pace Georgia. Gal Mekel had 18 points and Omri Casspi added 14 for Israel. Mekel made all six free throws in the final 29 seconds to send Israel to the knockout stage.

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