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Germany Stuns U.S. in Thrilling World Cup Semifinal Showdown

September 8, 2023

In a nail-biting clash on the world stage, the United States came up short in their quest for a gold medal at the World Cup, marking the second consecutive time they might leave the tournament without any medal at all.









Instead, it’s Germany who finds themselves on the verge of a world title.

Andreas Obst led the charge for Germany, contributing an impressive 24 points, while Franz Wagner added 22. They orchestrated a stunning victory over the Americans, with a final score of 113-111 in the World Cup semifinals on Friday night.

The game’s pivotal moment arrived when Obst sank a memorable 3-pointer with just 1:15 left on the clock, extending Germany’s lead to four points and extinguishing the last-ditch U.S. rally. Throughout most of the contest, Germany held control, leading for 30 out of the 40 minutes played, leaving little doubt about their dominance.

U.S. guard Austin Reaves expressed his team’s disappointment, saying, “We knew the task at hand, and that was to go win. And we didn’t do that.”

Although the U.S. made a valiant effort, narrowing the gap to just one point on two separate occasions in the final minutes, they never managed to take the lead. As the clock ran out, it was the German team celebrating with jubilant embraces.

Germany, the last unbeaten team in the tournament with a flawless 7-0 record, is set to face Serbia for the World Cup title on Sunday at 8:40 a.m. EDT. Meanwhile, in the first semifinal, Serbia secured their spot in the final by defeating Canada, earning a chance at redemption after losing to the U.S. in the 2014 championship game.

The U.S. will contend for the bronze medal against Canada on Sunday at 4:40 a.m. EDT.

Leading the scoring for the U.S. was Anthony Edwards with 23 points, supported by Reaves with 21, Mikal Bridges with 17, and Jalen Brunson with 15. Both teams exhibited impressive shooting percentages, with the Americans shooting 58%, but the inability to contain Germany’s 58% shooting ultimately proved their downfall.

This victory is historic for Germany, as they had previously been winless against the U.S. in World Cup or Olympic competitions, often suffering lopsided defeats.

For the United States, even assembling a roster filled with NBA players wasn’t enough to secure gold at the World Cup. While this third or fourth-place finish is technically better than their seventh-place finish in the 2019 World Cup, it falls short of the gold standard expected by USA Basketball.

Notably, Daniel Theis played a crucial role for Germany, contributing 21 points. This performance ranks among the standout games of his NBA career.

A decisive third quarter, where Germany outscored their opponents 35-24, ultimately made the difference in this thrilling showdown. It was a stark contrast to their earlier exhibition encounter this summer in Abu Dhabi when the U.S. overcame a 16-point deficit with an 18-0 run to secure victory.

This time, Germany seized their opportunity and emerged victorious. As the final buzzer sounded, former teammates Austin Reaves and Dennis Schröder of the Los Angeles Lakers shared a poignant moment, acknowledging the significance of this victory for German basketball.

Credit: AP

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