Basketball

Deng inspires Britain to win

Luol Deng inspired Great Britain's basketball men to end their seven-game losing streak with a confident and much-needed 83-68 victory over Portugal in Sheffield.

 
Deng inspires Britain - BasketballAFP
 

The Chicago Bulls All-Star led the way with 21 points while former NBA player Pops Mensah-Bonsu weighed in with an equally valuable 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“In the second half it was certainly evident that we came to play. We turned it up and we looked like the team that we are supposed to be," said Deng, after the 83-68 win.

“When the second half started we knew we had to come out and play defence and be more focused.”

Coach Chris Finch, back in Sheffield where he enjoyed success as a player and coach, has not panicked during the recent run of results.

He insisted his side were starting to gel with another clash with Portugal and a friendly game against Olympic champions the USA on the schedule before they open their London 2012 campaign against Russia.

“It was a real good performance,” he said. “I thought if we played well we would get the win.

“I liked our intensity, I liked our tempo, and we made shots in the second where we hadn’t made shots consistently before that.”

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