72 Australia vs United States of America 63
LONDON, 5 September
Justin EVESON (AUS) had 21 points and 10 rebounds as Australia beat United States 72-63 in the first semifinal of the men's wheelchair basketball.
It sent the reigning Paralympic and world champions onwards to a showdown for the gold medal with either Canada or Great Britain.
After USA briefly went ahead in the opening minutes, Brad NESS (AUS) ignited a 10-0 run which put the Rollers in front and they never trailed again despite a determined performance from their rivals.
Two three-pointers in quick succession from Tristan KNOWLES (AUS) opened up a 31-18 advantage midway through the second period but the USA struck back, reeling off seven unanswered points as the deficit was reduced to 35-31 at half-time.
With both teams shooting over 50 per cent from the field, it became a game that turned on a momentum shift at the start of the third period.
A 13-2 burst pulled the Australians as much as 48-35 ahead after a shot from Shaun NORRIS (AUS).
Steadily the gap between the sides was reduced and, briefly, the threat of an upset arose. But although the United States maintained their pursuit, they could not quite overhaul the Australians.
Two free throws from Joseph CHAMBERS (USA), who had a team-high 12 points for USA, had his side trailing 63-60 with 1:26 left in the game but a 7-0 run proved enough to halt their charge.
NESS finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
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