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Dirk NOWITZKI (GER)
2006 FIBA World Championship, Hiroshima, Japan
20/08/2006Game Report, Germany vs New Zealand, 80-56 GROUP B
HIROSHIMA (FIBA World Championship) - Dirk Nowitzki scored only 11 points but Germany had plenty of firepower from the outside as they buried 16 three-pointers in beating New Zealand 80- 56 to remain undefeated at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Demond Greene paced the Germans with 18 points on six three-pointers while Robert Garrett hit four from beyond the arc for 14 points.

Kirk Penney had 12 points for New Zealand while Tony Rampton scored 10.

"f you pass the ball like that and create open looks it's a lot easier and a lot more fun for everybody," said German coach Dirk Bauermann, whose team shot 47 per cent (16-34) from behind the three-point stripe and dished out 22 assists.  

"And if you have uncontested shots like that you tend to shoot a better percentage."

Tab Baldwin said his New Zealand side couldn't handle the 2005 EuroBasket silver medallists.

"They smothered us. They had a great performance. They just put it all together in a very efficient game plan and never let up," said Baldwin.  

Germany improved their record to 3-0 against New Zealand in international competitions. They beat the Tall Blacks twice at the 2002 FIBA World Championship, including a 117-94 victory in the bronze medal game.

Germany were leading 9-7 when their sharp shooters started heating up. Greene, Nowitzki, Pascal Roller and Garrett all hit three-pointers as Dirk Bauermann's team pulled ahead 21-11 after one period.

Garrett hit three straight treys to start the second quarter while Sven Schultze added one and Greene two more for the Germans.

"I know it's my job to be effective off the bench. Once i hit the first shot I knew it was going to be a good game," Garrett said. 

Nearly impressive was the Germans' defense which tightened the screws on Baldwin's team, which scored just six points in the second period for a 38-17 Germany lead at the break.

"Germany had us well scouted. They used their size very well and exploited our lack of size," Baldwin said.

Steffan Hamann joined the three-point parade in the third quarter as did Johannes Herber, who hit two from outside. Greene hit another in the fourth and Roller sank back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth.

Where as Germany struggled in maintaining their big lead on Saturday against Japan, Bauermann's team never let New Zealand get closer than 15 the rest of the way. And Germany again had the chance to give their bench players some quality playing time.

Germany next go into their much-anticipated showdown with Spain on Monday while New Zealand face Angola needing a victory to stay alive in the competition.

By DAVID HEIN
Exclusively for FIBA