HIROSHIMA (FIBA World Championship
) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 47 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Germany to a historic 108-103 triple overtime victory over Angola - the first time a FIBA World Championship match went to three extra sessions.
Nowitzki buried a three-pointer to force the second overtime and then made two free throws to tie the game at 95-95 after two overtimes. The 7-footer then took over the third extra session, scoring 11 of Germany's 13 points.
"What am I going to say that you didn't see out there? That's competive greatness. He gives you your best when you need it most," German coach Dirk Bauermann said of the incredible performance by Nowitzki, who made 17-of-17 free throws and dished out four assists while playing top notch defense as well.
"Everything that happens in a game like this is fun," Nowitzki said. "In a long tournament like this you always need games that push the team. Hopefully this is one of them."
Nowitzki's 47 points were the fifth-most ever at the FIBA World Championship. The most ever were 62 by Jae Hur of Korea in 1990.
Demond Greene and Ademola Okulaja each scored 14 points. Patrick Femerling added 12 points and Sven Schultze scored 10 off the German bench.
The victory clinched second place in Group B for Germany, who finished the first round with a 4-1 record. Angola started the group with three straight victories and ended the round with a 3-2 record in third place.
Olimpio Cipriano paced the Africans with 33 points including six three-pointers and Eduardo Mingas added 22 points. Milton Barros scored 15 in the losing cause.
"Today we showed the whole world we have a lot to offer," said Joaquim Gomes, who 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. "Unfortunately we came up short in the end. We gave the effort, we showed the heart, we just came up short in the end."
Germany scored the first six points of the game and they did a good job of spreading the offense to other guys including Okulaja, Femerling and Schultze. Bauermann's troops were ahead 21-16 after the first 10 mintues.
Greene's three-pointer with 6:50 left in the second gave Germany a 26-16 advantage. But Barros scored nine points as Angola used a 14-7 run to pull within 33-30 at half-time.
Both teams came out of the locker-rooms cold.
Germany missed their first seven shots, including four three-pointers, before Nowitzki hit a jumper with 5:23 left in the third. Angola were even worse as they missed nine straight shots as Mingas finally hit for the Africans.
But Germany continued their excellent defense and saw Schultze and Okulaja combine for the final 10 points of the third quarter, which Germany led 47-38. Angola scored just eight points in the period on 2-of-15 shooting.
The Africans started the fourth quarter on fire, hitting their first six shots. Cipriano and Mingas both hit three pointers and Morais' three-point play with 6:14 remaining gave Angola a 52-51 lead. Cipriano hit another three-pointer and Barros had a steal and break-away layup to pull ahead 57-51.
Greene's three-pointer ended the 19-4 Angola run to start the fourth. While Cipriano pushed the lead back up to six - at 60-54 with 4:06 to go.
Nowitzki hit four straight free throws before Barros blew by Demirel for a layup to make it 62-58. Nowitzki hit another two free throws and then came up with a big block on Mingas with 1:51 left in regulation to keep the game at 64-62 for Angola.
After Nowitzki tipped in his own shot with 1:36 to tie the game, Cipriano buried yet another three-pointer and then made two of three free throws with 36 seconds left to put Angola ahead 69-66.
With 25 seconds left, Nowitzki found Mithat Demirel for a wide-open three-pointer, the playmaker's first points of the game to even things at 69-69. Nowitzki came up big yet again, this time on the defensive end, as he guarded Barros who eventually got past Nowitzki but was unable to avoid an offensive charging foul, taken by Steffen Hamann with three seconds to go.
Okulaja's potential game-winner came after the buzzer to send the game into over-time
Mingas scored four quick points and Nowitzki answered with a three-point play and Greene's three-pointer gave Germany a 75-73 lead. But Capriano stepped up again with a three-pointer only to see Greene complete a three-point play for a 78-76 lead.
Morais made a steal and a break away dunk to give Angola the lead 81-80 with 55 seconds left. Gomes missed two free throws with 28 seconds and Morais made two free throws to make it 83-80 with 20 seconds left.
Nowitzki took the game into his hands and buried a three-pointer from the left wing over Gomes with one second left to force the second over-time - 83-83.
Gomes completed a three-point play and Cipriano struck again from deep to pull ahead 89-87 with 2:36 left. Mingas upped the advantage to 93-89 with a driving layup with 1:01 left.
After Johannes Herber grabbed a long rebound, Nowitzki got open for a dunk and Demirel hit two free throws with 14.2 seconds left to pull even 93-93. After Barros hit two free throws, Nowitzki hit another pair with 5.1 seconds and Barros' three-pointer at the buzzer missed, forcing the first ever triple-overtime game.
Nowitzki started the scoring with a three-pointer and then made three more free throws with 2:52 left for a 101-95 game. Cipriano and Mingas both made two foul shots and Mingas made a jumper to trim the deficit to 103-101 with one minute remaining.
But Nowitzki finished off his night with a three-pointer and two free throws to open a seven-point lead and Angola was finally put away. By David Hein