The first games in the second group stage in EuroBasket 2011 featured some of the biggest names in the tournament, but the biggest of all -- 2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki -- found himself on the short end as Germany fell to reigning champ Spain 77-68. Marc Gasol led the Spanish with 24 points, and his brother Pau had a great fourth quarter and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Nowitzki faded down the stretch as Spain attempted to cut the German star off from his team.
Germany now finds itself at the bottom of Group E, with no wins and three losses. (First-stage wins against teams eliminated from a team's record heading into this second group stage.) Spain moves to 2-1 and looks solid in advancing to the knockouts with Serbia and France left on the docket.
The French remained undefeated in the tournament with a 68-64 win over Turkey. As is to be expected by now, Tony Parker led France with 20 points while playing 37 of a possibe 40 minutes. Parker did, however, shot 0-5 on three-pointers as Turkey nearly took the win; as a team, the French shot just 4-17 from long-range. The two teams shot a combined 35 percent from the field.
In the day's final game, host Lithuania beat back Serbia 100-90. (Yes, a triple-digit FIBA game! Mon dieu!) The Lithuanians assaulted Serbia's defense to the tune of 60 percent shooting for the game -- they must have loosened the rims after France-Turkey -- as rising point guard Mantas Kalnietis and promising big man Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 19 and 18 points respectively. Valanciunas, who was picked No. 5 by the Raptors in June's NBA Draft, did his work in just 20 minutes.
France has clinched a spot in the knockouts. This group will reconvene on Friday; Group F, starring Russia, Greece and Macedonia, will get in action on Thursday.