Sunday, July 20, 2008

Congrats: Dirk is Olympic bound

A dream of a lifetime came true for Dirk Nowitzki as he led Germany back to Olympics with today's win over Puerto Rico. The good news comes with some bad, as the loss means Mavs teammate J.J. Barea won't be headed to Beijing.

The account courtesy of FIBA's site doesn't have any quotes from Dirk, but freshly-minted German teammate Chris Kaman said: "This is 12 days for me and it's 12 years for Dirk. I can't even imagine the emotions he is feeling right now."

There is postgame video of Dirk on finally earning a spot in the Summer Games.

Here's the AP dispatch:

ATHENS, Greece -- Germany won the final spot in the 12-team Olympic basketball tournament, getting 32 points from Dirk Nowitzki on Sunday in a 96-82 victory over Puerto Rico.

Croatia and Greece earned the other two men's berths at stake in this qualifier a day earlier.

Jose Barea, who plays with Nowitzki on the Dallas Mavericks, led Puerto Rico with 18 points.

Germany drew on its outside shooting to take a 48-39 halftime lead. Three consecutive 3-pointers within 46 seconds -- two by Robert Garrett, one by Demond Greene -- stretched the lead to 70-54 with 1:48 left in the third period. The Puerto Ricans came no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

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