USA Basketball Falls to Germany in FIBA World Cup Semifinals [Video]

The Americans lost to Germany, 113-111, and will face Canada on Sunday for the bronze medal.

via: NBC Sports

Germany, powered by NBA forwards Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis, beat the U.S. 113-111 in Manila to reach its first final at an Olympics or worlds (Sunday versus Serbia). It was Germany’s first win over the U.S. in their ninth meeting in the Dream Team era (since 1992).

The U.S. has lost two games at a second consecutive World Cup.

Four years ago, it placed seventh, the worst major tournament result in program history, then rebounded to win a fourth consecutive Olympic title in Tokyo.

On Sunday, the U.S. plays Canada for bronze, bidding to avoid losing three times at one major tournament for the first time since the 2004 Athens Olympics. That debacle in Greece helped lead to an overhaul of U.S. men’s basketball.

In an acceleration of a recent trend, the top Americans in the NBA aren’t playing in the World Cup. Some international stars are also absent. Many players who plan to take part in the Olympics are using this summer to rest between NBA seasons.

For the first time in the Dream Team era, the U.S. roster includes zero All-NBA players and nobody who has previous Olympic or world experience. (Excluding the 1998 Worlds, when the original roster did have players who met that criteria, but the final team included none of them due to the NBA lockout.)

Under coach Steve Kerr, the U.S. lost to Lithuania in group play last Sunday after the Lithuanians stormed out to a 31-12 lead after the first quarter.

Lithuania outrebounded the U.S. 43-27 and made 14 of 25 three-point shots, overcoming Anthony Edwards’ game-high 35 points.

The U.S. bounced back to crush Italy in the quarterfinals.

The U.S. and Germany, in its second-ever world semifinal (and first since 2002), played close until the Germans scored 35 points in the third quarter to take a 10-point lead.

The U.S., behind Edwards’ 23 points, closed the gap to 106-103 with three minutes left but could not erase it completely.

Germany is best known for producing Detlef Schrempf and Dirk Nowitzki, but it’s never performed as consistently as European powers like Spain and Lithuania.

It qualified for just one Olympics during Nowitzki’s career (2008) and has never made an Olympic semifinal.

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