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Germany Claims Bronze at World Basketball Championship - 2002-09-08

Germany has claimed the bronze medal at the World Basketball Championship tournament in the midwestern U.S. state of Indiana. Germany's 112-95 victory over New Zealand on Sunday ahead of the championship game between Yugoslavia and Argentina.

National Basketball Association star Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks poured in a game high 29 points as the Germans rolled to an easy victory and a third place finish. Germany had soared past New Zealand by 41 points before easing up and almost playfully allowing the Kiwis to score some baskets.

German coach Henrik Dettmann told VOA sports after the game that his team performed as he had hoped. "Our goal was to come into this tournament and develop and get better every day," he said. "As we layed this last game, I thought that showed."

Kiwi coach Tab Baldwin says his team just ran out of gas after a long tournament run. "I think when you have your eye targeted in the way they had theirs today, you play with so much confidence," he said. "And we just were not able to do anything to shake their confidence."

Phil Jones led New Zealand with 26 points.