Turkey, France win, will play for fifth at worlds
SAITAMA, Japan -- France (5-3) will play Turkey (6-2) for fifth place at the FIBA World Championship after both teams won Thursday. The game is scheduled for Saturday.
Turkey 95, Lithuania 84, OT
Ermal Kurtoglu scored 10 of his 24 points in overtime and Turkey, which trailed by 11 points with 2½ minutes left in regulation, beat Lithuania 95-84.
At halftime, the greater Tokyo area was shaken by a 4.8-magnitude earthquake. The Super Arena, which is 17 miles north of downtown Tokyo, shook for a few seconds but there was no damage and little reaction from the fans.
Darius Songaila made two free throws with 2:40 left in regulation to give Lithuania (4-4) a 67-56 lead. Kurtoglu hit a 3 with 1:27 left to make it 69-65.
With 13 seconds left, Ender Arslan of Turkey was fouled. He made the first free throw, but missed the second. The rebound bounced off to the left side and he ran it down, stepped behind the line and hit a 3 with 8.5 seconds left to tie it.
Kurtoglu then took over, scoring eight points -- including a 3-pointer and a three-point play -- in the opening 3½ minutes of overtime.
Arslan finished with 18 points for Turkey, which had already assured itself of its best worlds finish by reaching the quarterfinals.
"I had to shoot so when I grabbed it I focused and I shot," Arslan said. "Thank God it went in."
Atsur, who had nine points, said he knew something was going on at halftime.
"I said to myself, 'Is that an earthquake?' and then I heard two guys across the locker room say the same thing so I knew it wasn't just me," he said, adding he was in Turkey in 2003 when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake killed 83 people.
Songaila had 17 points for Lithuania, which finished with 28 turnovers.
France 75, Germany 73
Mickael Gelabale's layup with 1.8 seconds left gave France a 75-73 victory over Germany.
Germany's final possession ended when Dirk Nowitzki took an inbounds pass on the left sideline. As he turned to get off a possible game-winning shot, he stepped on the line with .9 seconds to go.
Joseph Gomis, the French point guard who replaced the injured Tony Parker, hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 73. Gomis, who came into the game averaging 3.8 points, finished with 17 and was 3-for-3 on 3s.
Germany (5-3) turned the ball over on the inbounds play after Gomis' shot. The Germans opted to foul Boris Diaw near midcourt with 11 seconds left, and the strategy seemed to pay off when Diaw, who plays for the Phoenix Suns, missed both free throws.
But Germany again turned the ball over as it was coming up the court. Diaw grabbed the ball and found the 6-foot-7 Gelabale to the side of the basket, and he made a tough layup with the 7-foot Nowitzki all over him.
Gomis started and played 22 minutes Thursday in place of Aymeric Jeanneau, who did a solid job in leading France to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1954. Jeanneau played six of the first seven games in the tournament hampered by a right thigh injury, but he didn't play at all against Germany.
Parker broke his finger in the final exhibition game just days before the tournament started.
Ronny Turiaf added 15 points for France, while Diaw had 13 points and eight rebounds.
Nowitzki, who came into the game averaging 23.1 points, finished with 29, 21 in the second half.
Germany won the bronze medal at the 2002 worlds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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