Gasol eases Spain past Lithuania at Eurobasket

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Gasol eases Spain past Lithuania at Eurobasket

SIAULIAI, Lithuania - Juan Carlos Navarro scored 22 points as defending champion Spain swept aside host Lithuania 91-79 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the European basketball championships.

France, Serbia, Germany, Russia and Slovenia also clinched berths in the second round.

France rallied with a big fourth quarter despite playing without Tony Parker to defeat Italy 91-84, an outcome that allowed Serbia and Germany to advance even before their later match.

Serbia, which lost the final to Spain two years ago, joined France on a perfect 4-0 record in Group B by overcoming 25 points from Dirk Nowitzki to beat Germany 75-64. Germany is 2-2.

In a major upset in Group A, Poland beat World Championship silver medalist Turkey 84-83, leaving Turkey on the brink of elimination. Turkey must beat Spain in its last match.

In a tight Group C, Macedonia edged Finland 72-70, Greece beat Montenegro 71-55 and Bosnia-Herzegovina upset Croatia 92-90.

Montenegro is the only team without a chance of advancing.

Russia beat Bulgaria 89-77 and Slovenia defeated Belgium 70-61 as both advanced with 4-0 records before the final group matches. Georgia beat Ukraine 69-53 to stay alive.

The top three teams from each of the four groups advance. Head-to-head results from group games carry over to the second round so every win is important.

Spain scored a stunning 62 points in the first half - the highest so far - giving them a 26-point advantage at the break against the host team.

Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol finished with 17 points for Spain. Serge Ibaka had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Parker was kneed in the left thigh by Andrea Bargnani on the second play of the game, struggled through the first half and part of the third quarter before leaving the game for good.

“I am going to have treatment on it tonight and see if I can play tomorrow,’’ Parker said.

“The doctor said I should not take a risk in the fourth quarter.’’

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