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2023 FIBA World Cup

Canada sets FIBA WC assists record in 55-point thrashing of Lebanon


Canada set a new record for the highest number of assists in a FIBA World Cup match, clinching a commanding 55-point, 128-73, victory over Lebanon on Sunday at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.

The win allowed Canada to maintain their flawless performance in Group H at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

The Road Warriors surpassed the previous World Cup assists record of 37 by amassing an impressive 44 assists in their dominant victory against the Cedars.

Canada swiftly established a significant lead over Lebanon, turning an initial 8-all tie into a commanding 16-point advantage by the end of the first quarter, with a score of 29-13.

Throughout the game, the Road Warriors maintained their dominance, extending their lead to as much as 60 points during the final period, highlighted by a layup executed by Kyle Alexander, resulting in a score of 110-50.

The Road Warriors relied on their bench mob to secure their second consecutive win before their match against Latvia on Tuesday, with 68 of their 128 points coming from the bench.

Nine players from Canada scored in double figures, led by New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett with 17 points and three assists, and Trae Bell-Haynes with 15 points.

OKC all-star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker contributed 12 points each. Houston Rockets forward Dillion Brooks and Dallas Mavericks big man Dwight Powell scored 10 and nine points respectively.

Once again, Anyang KGC import Omari Spellman led the Cedars in the loss with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Karim Zenoun and Ali Haidar combined for 26 points heading into their final group stage match against France.

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In the last match of the day, Latvia mounted a fourth-quarter surge against fifth-ranked France to secure a ticket to the second stage of the World Cup, winning 88-86.

With the win, both Latvia and Canada qualified for the second stage of the global showpiece, holding identical 2-0 records.

New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier sunk both free throws to give Les Bleus a three-point lead with over a minute left to play, 86-83. A layup and successful free throw conversion from Rolands Smits turned the tide for Latvijas Basketbola Izlase, giving them a one-point lead with 37 seconds left in regulation, 87-86.

France fell into the penalty game by fouling Arturs Zagars, who split his free throws, but Latvia held onto its two-point lead as Sylvain Fransisco missed the potential game-winning three-pointer.

After a dominant 21-13 third quarter by Les Bleus, where they took a 12-point lead, back-to-back inside hits and a three-pointer by Zagars propelled Latvijas Basketbola Izlase to a 17-6 run that trimmed the lead to one in the final period, 80-79.

Zagars and Smits scored 22 and 20 points respectively, lifting Latvia to the second stage in their first-ever World Cup appearance. OKC forward Davis Bertans chipped in 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Latvijas Basketbola Izlase.

Fournier’s 27-point performance went for naught as France was eliminated from World Cup contention. Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, scoreless in their 30-point loss against Canada, dropped 13 points and four rebounds, while Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, and three steals. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

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The Scores:

First Game:

Canada (128) – Barrett 17, Bell-Haynes 15, Ejim 13, Edey 12, Gilgeous-Alexander 12, Olynyk 12, Alexander-Walker 12, Brooks 10, Alexander 10, Powell 9, Scrubb 6.

Lebanon (55) – Spellman 16, Zeinoun 15, Haidar 11, El Darwich 9, Gyokchyan 8, Saoud 4, Khalil 2, Mezher 0, Mansour 0, Ezzedine 0, Alkhoury 0.

Quarterscores: 29-13, 66-30, 100-48, 128-73

Second Game:

Latvia (88) – Zagars 22, Smits 20, Bertans Dav. 15, Zoriks 13, Bertans Dai. 8, Grazulis 4, R. Kurucs 2, Arturs Kurucs 2, Skele 2, Pasecniks 0, Stautins 0, Cavars 0

France (86) – Fournier 27, Yabusele 18, Batum 13, Gobert 9, Francisco 8, Tarpey 7, Lessort 4, Okobo 0, De Colo 0, Fall 0

Quarterscores: 33-26, 53-49, 74-62, 86-88

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