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Larry Bird vs Germany

Flashback: 1992 USA Men Roll to 111-68 Victory Over Germany

  • Date:
    Jul 29, 1992

Surprisingly, the U.S. had an easy time with a solid Germany team, rolling to a 111-68 victory.

Facing a unified German team that featured NBA star Detlef Schrempf and former NBA player Uwe Blab, the U.S. put this one away early.

Jumping out to 9-2, 16-3 and 26-6 advantages, the U.S. enjoyed a 35-point lead by half, 58-23.

Five U.S. players, led by Larry Bird’s 19 points and Karl Malone’s 18, scored in double figures in the victory.  For Bird, who had been bothered by a nagging back injury for most of the USA’s training and its games at the Tournament of the Americas, his 19-point performance and 7-of-11 shooting from the field marked his return to all-star form

“The two things I’m on this team for is to pass the basketball and shoot the outside shot,” said Bird. “They tried to play zone against us and it’s really the first time I’ve been able to play against a zone defense. I wanted the first couple of shots to go down and get on a roll because if Chris (Mullin) stands on one side, and I’m on the other, I don’t think any team can play zone against us. We’ll take the outside shots if we have them, and if we get on a roll, we’d rather take 3s than 2s.”

Michael Jordan continued to underscore his all-around ability and willingness to do whatever the team needed. With USA guards Magic Johnson and John Stockton sidelined with injuries, Jordan took over the USA’s helm and the result was a 15-point, 12-assist and four-steal performance. The 12 assists tied the USA’s single-game Olympic assist record.

“We made it look real easy tonight,” admitted Clyde Drexler, who was credited with nine points and four assists. “Larry was incredible, Michael was incredible. Michael looked like Magic out there with the passes he was throwing. We just played as a team. When you pass the ball around and just hit the open guy, this team is good enough where we’re going to blow people out.”

“It is a very positive thing that the American professionals are playing in the Olympic Games,” remarked Germany head coach Svetislav Pesic.

Added German forward Henning Han Harnish, “In the first half we were too afraid, but it was the first time that we played against players of such caliber as Jordan. In the second half we fared better, but we were faced with the best team in the world.”

 

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