France out after another loss, Canada dominates

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BASKET-WC-2023-FRA-LAT

BASKET-WC-2023-FRA-LAT

The 1-0 Americans were off Sunday, resting up for Monday’s game against Greece (their toughest group stage matchup). Here’s what happened in the games played Sunday in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Latvia 88, France 86

It’s good that France has an automatic bid into the Paris Olympics basketball tournament as the hosts because they wouldn’t have earned a spot through their play at the World Cup.

France led by 13 in this one but Latvia battled back thanks to 22 points from Arturs Zagars, 20 from Rolands Smits and 15 by Davis Bertans.

This loss, combined with France’s ugly loss to Canada two days ago, eliminates the French from the World Cup (they have one more game to play but cannot advance out of the group).

“We let a lot of people down, ourselves first,” French veteran forward Nicolas Batum said, via the Associated Press.

Evan Fournier had 27 points to lead France. Latvia plays Canada next, both teams will advance to the next round, but they will play for the Group H top spot.

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Canada 128, Lebanon 73

Canada has now won two games by a combined 85 points.

Canada scored 128 points, shot 71% as a team for the game, and had a World Cup record with 44 assists. Nine Canadian players scored in double figures, led by RJ Barrett with 16.

Germany 85, Australia 82

Germany looked like a medal threat in the tune-up games for the World Cup — it led the USA by 16 in the second half — and lived up to that promise with an upset win against Australia. Dennis Schroder led the way for Germany with 30 points and eight dimes.

Australia tied the game twice in the fourth quarter but Germany kept coming up with answers. Maodo Lo added 20 points for Germany. Patty Mills led Australia with 21 points and Matisse Thybulle added 17.

Franz Wagner was out for Germany with the sprained ankle he suffered in the tournament opener. The team announced that this is not a serious injury — not torn ligaments — but there is no timeline for his return.

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Dominican Republic 87, Italy 82

Karl-Anthony Towns was a force of nature, scoring 24 with 11 rebounds to lead the Dominican Republic to an upset of Italy.

The real key to this game was the Dominican Republic shooting 41% from beyond the arc and finishing with 16 3-pointers. Andres Feliz scored 24 points and had seven of those 3s for the DR.

Italy started the game on a 12-0 run but had lost the lead by halftime. Italy plays host the Philippines next, while the Dominican Republic plays Angola. DR advances with a win, and if Italy wins it can still advance to the next round.

Angola 80, Philippines 70

Angola came from behind for the win, keeping its chances of advancing out of the group stage alive with the victory over the hosts. Gerson Goncalves led Angola with 17 points, Gerson Domingos added 15. Jordan Clarkson led the Philippines with 21.

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Japan 98, Finland 88

It was a huge win at home for the hosts behind 28 points from former Washington State star Joshua Hawkinson. Japan dominated the fourth quarter with Yuki Kawamura leading the way, he finished with 25 points.

With the loss, Finland falls to 0-2 and is out of the World Cup, they cannot advance. Lauri Markkanen scored 27 points with 12 rebounds in the loss.

Montenegro 89, Egypt 74

Montenegro punched its ticket for the next round with this win, behind 17 points and seven rebounds from Nikola Vucevic. Ehab Amin led Egypt with 26 points, but the team’s 22 turnovers did it in.

Lithuania 96, Mexico 66

Lithuania advances to the next round with this victory. New Orleans big man Jonas Valanciunas led Lithuania with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Rokas Jokubaitis added 15 points, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored 14.

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