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Greece Shocks USA 101-95


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European champions Greece shocked odds-on favorites the United States 101-95 to reach the final of the world basketball championship in Japan on Friday.

Athenians poured onto the streets to celebrate and Sports Minister George Orfanos told state NET television: "Nobody could believe this. The Greek team made the Americans kneel to them."

Office workers in Greece were glued to TV screens during the game and trading on the Athens stock exchange almost ground to a halt.

Guard Vassilis Spanoulis led a surging Greek team with 22 points to leave the U.S. shell-shocked and extend their six-year world and Olympic title drought.

The final buzzer sparked scenes of pandemonium at Saitama Super Arena as the Greeks celebrated as if they had won the gold medal.

Olympic champions Argentina were playing Spain in Friday's second semifinal.

The U.S. suffered an astonishing second-quarter meltdown, blowing a 12-point lead with 6:15 left in the first half after a strong start.

Greece outscored the U.S. 24-9 from that point to take a 45-41 halftime lead and some explosive long-range shooting made it 77-65 through three quarters.

Co-captains Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade led a U.S. fightback but an off-balance three from Spanoulis with 1:58 put Greece back up by seven and effectively iced the game.

Anthony scored a game-high 27 points and Wade added 19 but it was too little, too late to save the U.S. team's collection of big-name NBA stars.


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I saw some of that game. Greece had some widebody nicknamed "Baby Shaq" that was tearing the USA up inside. The USA squad didn't have anyone to match up with his size inside, and when he made his move to the basket, he ended up with an unstoppable dunk. Myabe it's just time to realize that the US isn't as dominant in this sport as they once were.

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