Accessibility links

USA Basketball Has Surprising New Streak, 2 Losses

Just four teams still have a chance to claim the title at the World Basketball Championship tournament in Indiana.

After winning 58 straight international games with National Basketball Association players, the United States has a new streak, two straight losses. Yugoslavia scored the first nine points of the game and dominated until the United States clawed back into contention and stayed in front for much of the second half.

But Yugoslavia had success scoring inside, and again grabbed the lead for good with less than two minutes remaining to take an 81-78 victory. Yugoslav coach Svetislav Pesic said his team learned from the United States loss on Wednesday. "We knew after a game yesterday like that against Argentina, we had to have the same intensity, which we did. They are very quick. And against a transition offense, we had play very fast defense," he said.

Germany reached the semifinal round with a 70-62 win over Spain. Germany had a mediocre tournament up to this point, but head coach Henrik Dettmann was pleased his team responded against one of its European rivals. "We all know Spain is one of the best teams in the world. The [German] players, they put in a tremendous effort today," he said. "Especially in the first half and fourth quarter, I think that our defense was the key to the game."

Also reaching the semifinal round is Argentina, the only undefeated nation remaining. The South Americans downed continental foe Brazil, 78-67. New Zealand is among the final four after a tough 65-63 victory over Puerto Rico.