Germany holds off U.S. to reach 1st-ever World Cup final

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Germany held off a late surge from the United States, defeating the Stars & Stripes 113-111 to reach the FIBA World Cup final for the first time in its history. Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner led a balanced German attack, tallying 22 points, five boards, and two assists. Meanwhile, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards had 23 points, eight boards, and three assists in a losing cause.

 “This team is very worthy of winning a championship. We just didn’t get it done,” Team USA head coach Steve Kerr said postgame. After a tight first half, Germany created some distance in the third quarter, outscoring the Americans 35-24. The 11th-ranked nation looked to be on its way to a comfortable victory before the U.S. mounted one last charge. Team USA went on a 13-2 scoring run to cut the deficit to one with just 1:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, Germany immediately responded with a step-back triple from Andreas Obst. On the next possession, Isaac Bonga denied U.S. wing Mikal Bridges at the rim. German guard Dennis Schroder subsequently iced the game with a pull-up jumper at the other end.

Germany’s 113 points were the most surrendered by an American team in a FIBA World Cup tournament game, surpassing their previous mark of 110 against Lithuania in this year’s second round, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Germany will face Serbia on Sunday in the gold-medal game, while Canada and the U.S. will battle for bronze.    Team USA finished seventh at the previous World Cup in China. They’ve never missed the podium at back-to-back tournaments. Germany’s best previous result was a third-place finish at the 2002 tournament.

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