Pau, Marc Gasol lead Spain

Updated: September 2, 2011, 2:33 AM ET
Associated Press

SIAULIAI, Lithuania -- Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol scored 20 points, leading defending champion Spain past Portugal 87-73 on Thursday for its second victory in two days at the European Championship.

Spain pulled away early in the Group A game against the team that was the last to qualify for the tournament. Two qualifiers for the London Olympics will emerge from the 24-team event.

Juan Carlos Navarro had 19 points for Spain, and Pau's brother, Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, added 10 points and nine rebounds. Navarro and the Gasols sat out most of the second half and the entire fourth quarter. Antonio Tavares had 17 points for Portugal (0-2).

"In the first three quarters we lost some defensive rebounds that we shouldn't have lost," Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. "We struggled against the zone at times. But overall we reached our goal, to have two wins after two games."

France used four NBA players and pounded the boards in overwhelming Israel 85-68 for its second win. San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker scored 21 points.

"As soon as Tony took over, it was over for us," Israel coach Arik Shivak said.

Center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls had nine rebounds to go with nine points. Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers added 15 points for France and Mickael Gelabale had 13. Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin had 15 each for Israel (0-2).

"We are happy about this game. It could have been a trap," said Charlotte Bobcats forward Boris Diaw, who had eight rebounds for France. "We didn't relax. We took this game really seriously."

Germany ran its record to 2-0, defeating Italy 76-62 behind Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman.

Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Kaman had 17 points and 17 rebounds. Kaman had 10 points and eight rebounds in a big fourth quarter in which Germany finished with a 14-2 run.

"What can you say about Dirk? He just did his thing again," Kaman said.

Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets led Italy (0-2) with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Russia defeated Georgia 65-58 in a game played before a raucous crowd and three years after these countries fought a war. Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko scored 20 points for Russia, including a 3-point play with two minutes left that put Russia ahead by seven. Manuchar Markoishvili had 21 points for Georgia.

Serbia improved to 2-0 after defeating Latvia 92-77. Turkey defeated Britain 90-61, with Bulls forward Luol Deng scoring 22 points for Britain. Greece beat Finland 81-61.

Vlado Ilievski made a jumper with 10 seconds remaining to lift Macedonia to a 78-76 upset of Croatia in Group C. Both teams are 1-1.

Slovenia (2-0) hung on for a 68-64 victory over Ukraine (0-2) behind Mirza Begic and Erazem Lorbek, the centers combining for 26 points.

Host Lithuania won its second straight, beating winless Poland 97-77. Mirza Teletovic had 23 points, including 11 in the last seven minutes. Nihad Dedovic added 19 as Bosnia-Herzegovina went 1-1 in Group C by beating Montenegro (1-1) 94-86.

Bulgaria edged Belgium 68-65 in a game between underdogs. California-born Earl Rowland led Bulgaria with 22 points.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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