<
>

Erden Watch: Serbia (semifinals)

9/11/2010

ESPN3 Screenshot

Semih Erden at the free-throw line against Serbia.Celtics rookie center Semih Erden produced a game-saving block in the final second allowing host Turkey to escape with an 83-82 triumph over Serbia Saturday in the semifinals of the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Istanbul.

Turkey advances to meet the United States in Sunday's gold-medal game, while Serbia will joust with Lithuania in the bronze-medal match.

Erden came up clutch twice in the final seconds. First he produced a monster dunk (with KG-like emphatic reaction) with 16.8 seconds remaining to put Turkey out front, 81-80. He did miss the ensuing free throw, allowing Serbia to pull ahead at the other end of the court. But Turkey's Kerem Tunceri drove for a layup (Erden playing traffic cop as Serbia's defense scrambled to stop the play from behind) with 0.5 seconds remaining, setting into motion Erden's heroics.

Dusko Savanovic caught a midcourt lob at the left baseline, but Erden, racing across through the lane, tipped the shot (though came perilously close to picking up a foul) as time expired to preserve the win.

Erden, who came off the bench, but played for much of the second half, finished with 9 points on 3-of-4 shooting with three assists, two rebounds, one steal and one monster block over 21 minutes.