Marco Belinelli leads Italy to big 105-98 win over Spain

BY foxsports • September 8, 2015

BERLIN (AP) Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari carried Italy to a 105-98 victory over Spain at the European basketball championship on Tuesday.

Belinelli scored 17 of his 27 points in a huge third quarter that decided the game. He nailed two consecutive 3-pointers to begin a 15-0 run and finished with seven assists and four rebounds as well. He played on a sore groin muscle and Italy was without captain Luigi Datome, who is out for the tournament with a similar injury.

Gallinari had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Andrea Bargnani added 18 points.

Pau Gasol's 34 points, 10 rebounds and five assists were not enough to prevent Spain from dropping to 1-2 in tough Group B. Italy is 2-1.

Gasol battled virtually alone against the Italians and was the only Spaniard in double-digits until Nikola Mirotic raised his total to 13. But most of his points came too late to matter.

Spain won the titles in 2009 and 2011 and took the bronze two years ago. Italy won the last of its two titles in 1999.

Earlier, Turkey got off to a strong start and defeated host Germany 80-75 for its second victory.

Germany never recovered from a disastrous first quarter that left it trailing by 20 points as Turkey made 11 of 13 field goal attempts.

Dennis Schroeder, who scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, brought Germany within seven in the final quarter but Turkey held on for a victory that improves its chances of advancing to the knockout stage. Turkey is 2-1, while Germany fell to 1-2 in Group B.

Earlier, Serbia made sure of advancing by beating Iceland 93-64.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points for Germany but did not play particularly well and sat out most of the final quarter. He made two free throws for the final score.

Supported by a vocal and what looked like a majority Turkish crowd in the arena, Turkey led by as many 21 and was paced by 17 points from Cedi Osman. Center Semih Erden added 16 points and nine rebounds in a big game. Ersan Ilyasova contributed 15. Ilyasova had nine points in the key first quarter.

Ali Muhammed, an American-born guard who was known as Bobby Dixon until recently becoming a Turkish citizen, also had 15 points, to go with five assists and five rebounds.

All 12 Serbian players got on the score sheet against the speedy but undersized newcomers.

Nemanja Nedovic had 12 points for Serbia, center Miroslav Raduljica added 13, Nikola Kalinic had 12 and Ognjen Kuzmic, another center, had 11 points on 100 percent shooting from the field. He only missed one of four free throws.

''We were very concentrated because you must not underestimate such a team as Iceland,'' Raduljica said. ''It's a very atypical team, they all shoot 3s. It was tougher playing them than the result shows.''

Nedovic said Iceland is tricky to play against. ''Sometimes it was tougher than in previous matches, we needed time to adjust to their game.''

Logi Gunnarsson led winless Iceland with a game-high 18 points.

Serbia improved to 3-0 in Group B.

In Group C in Zagreb, Croatia, Greece beat winless Georgia 79-68 to go 3-0 and will also advance. Nick Calathes had 19 points and eight assists for Greece.

Slovenia beat the Netherlands 81-74 for its second win in three games. The Dutch are 1-2.

Croatia finished the day by beating Macedonia 73-55 after breaking open the game in the third quarter. Croatia is 2-1 and Macedonia 1-2.