Dennis Schröder and the German National Team’s dream of EuroBasket glory came to an end on Tuesday, as they fell short — thanks to a wonderful third quarter from Marc Gasol — against Spain, 84-72.
Schröder, again, had simply too much to do on his own and his 27 points and eight assists (though, coupled with seven turnovers) were not enough.
The Germans got off to a quick start, surprising the Spanish with an 11-2 start as Spain’s offense struggled to make an impact on the German defense. Pau Gasol brought Spain back into the fold with a flurry of baskets after the timeout, the 16-year NBA veteran using his experience and sheer skill to great effect.
Schröder — as he has had to in this tournament — was active in the first quarter, scoring six points and made an effort to get some of his teammates going too. However, they struggled to hit the shots Schröder set them up with, though Dennis’ playmaking wasn’t exactly A+ in the first quarter.
Some good bench play from Maodo Lõ meant that when Schröder exited the game with just under two minutes left in the first quarter Germany maintained their lead and led 19-16 after the first quarter.
Germany would increase this lead to five while Schröder was on the bench before he checked back in with Germany still holding a 25-23 advantage, and he scored immediately after re-entering the fray.
But Spain, again led by Pau Gasol, and his brother Marc, began to reel Germany in and took a 32-27 lead as the Germans struggled to score in the second half despite Schröder re-entering the game.
After a Spanish turnover, Schröder leads the way in transition and hooks up with Daniel Theis for the alley-oop which kickstarted a strong German finish to the half but still trailed Spain 34-33. Dennis Schröder’s led Germany with 10 points and Pau Gasol’s 12 points keeping Spain in front at the half.
Schröder flew out the gates in the third quarter, hitting two quick three-pointers and — in general for this game, not so much just for the third quarter — got to his spots with ease as Ricky Rubio struggled to deal with German pick-and-rolls. Schröder, however, was limited for a lot of this game getting to the rim but still found ways to be effective when it came to scoring.
The German supporting cast, perhaps inspired by Schröder’s quick start to the third quarter, chipped in to briefly regain the lead (Daniel Theis with the most notable German performance outside of Schröder with 15 points for the game) but Spain quickly responded, leading to a timeout with Spain leading 56-50.
While Schröder began the quarter well, the third quarter was all about Marc Gasol, who exploded into life in the second half after big brother Pau proved to more assertive Gasol in the first half. Marc scored 18 third quarter points (dealing damage from the inside and outside) and spearheaded a 12-0 Spain run as they began to take control of the game.
In the midst of that run, Schröder checked out of the game with Germany trailing 58-50, and unlike the first half where Germany held their own while Schröder rested, Spain pushed the lead to 12 points, leaving Germany with it all to do in the fourth quarter trailing 65-53.
With the game threatening to get out of hand in a hurry, Schröder’s rest was brief and he started the fourth quarter with two baskets at the rim. But that good work was quickly undone as Germany failed to get back in transition quickly enough, leading to a Willy Hernangomez dunk — off of a beautiful bounce-pass from Marc Gasol — and Germany called for another timeout, the Spanish lead back up to 12 points.
With time ticking down and the situation becoming more and more urgent, Spain held their lead, pushing it up to 17 points after a Schröder turnover leads to a Spain three-pointer after Rubio had all the time in the world to decide whether to shoot it himself or pass to Sergio Rodriquez — Rubio chose the latter.
Germany made a late flurry of baskets to cut the lead to nine points but it was too little too late as Spain hung on to win 84-72 behind Marc Gasol’s 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Schröder finished with 27 points and eight assists but another seven turnovers certainly didn’t help the German cause.
The dream dies for Germany and Schröder — they were beaten by the better team on this day.