Caracas, Venezuela – (BasketballBuzz) – Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) behind a fluid offense and solid team play, put together their most complete game of the summer by routing Jamaica 85-64 to open-up the 2013 FIBA Americas Championships with a much needed win.
Canada wasted no time against a familiar opponent jumping out to an early 13-2 lead and never looked back as Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ont.) kept the Canadian offense moving the ball to lead four players in double-figures. Joseph put together his best effort for Canada since his debut a year ago, missing out on a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, Ont.) caused Jamaica fitz all night with 17 points off the bench on 6-of-10 shooting and Levon Kendall (Vancouver, B.C) was nearly perfect with 13 points and 8 rebounds on 6-of-7 shots.
Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ont.) rebounded from slow first half and finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds as Canada out-muscled Team Jamaica 42-30 on the glass.
Canada took a 19-14 lead after the first quarter, stretched to 17 and comfortably led 42-25 at half-time thanks to zero turnovers and 13 assists (7 by Cory Joseph.)
Tristan Thompson (NBA/Cleveland} came to life in the third quarter with back to back baskets and Andy Rautins capped off a 9-0 run with his third three-pointer of the contest and Canada grabbed its largest lead at 51-27.
Adrien Utter (14 points, 6 rebounds), Jerome Jordan (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Durant Scott (12 points 2/4 triples) kept Jamaica in the game, helping the Caribbean nation, (whose roots are deeply embedded in Canada’s team), rally from a 24-point deficit in the third quarter with a 17-1 run to trim the lead down to single digits at 52-45 with 1:33 to go in the quarter.
From there its was all Canada as Cory Joseph (NBA/Spurs) closed out the quarter on a personal 8-0 run, capped by a three-pointer, and Canada led 60-50. The run extended in the fourth-quarter as Kendall and Heslip (NCAA/Baylor Bears) continued their brilliant shooting nights with seven more points to cap a off a much needed 15-0 run between quarters on their way to 21 point victory.
Canada started the game shooting 4-of-6 and finished a healthy 32-of-71 (45%). Jamaica who failed to generate a single turnover in the first-half got back in the game by forcing nine second half-turnovers, turning them into 14 points (8 fast break), but only shot 22-64 (34%) for the game.
The win snaps Canada’s four-game losing streak after failing to come out on the winning side at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup and improved to 3-0 overall this summer against Jamaica. Jay Triano and his staff will now prepare his troops for a tough match up against Puerto Rico, who is coming off a slim 78-71 victory over Canada in the opener of the Marchand Cup.