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France sweeps scrappy Canada in international friendly series

Tony Parker scored 16 points and handed-out six assists to lead France to 86-69 win and a two game exhibition sweep over Canada

Tony Parker scored 16 points and handed-out six assists to lead France to 86-69 win and a two game exhibition sweep over Canada

Tony Parker turned the jets on in the second-half to give France an impressive 86-69 victory over Canada’s senior men’s national basketball team.

The victory gives Les Blues a sweep of the two–game international friendly series.

The game was evenly played until the fourth quarter when France outscored Canada 23-13 in the final period to seal a very physical game that saw gead coach Leo Rautins tossed at the 5:54 mark after a mini brawl broke out.

Andy Rautins was the main scorer for Canada with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-10 from downtown Toulouse. Jevohn Shepherd (Toronto, Ont.) contributed well and finished with 15 points off the bench. Levon Kendall battled hard all-night with a game-high13 rebounds and eight points.

France was led by Tony Parker’s 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. Nicolas Batum aka Air France was flying high all-night and added 15 points and four rebounds. Parker’s backcourt partner Nando de Colo had another outstanding game with 14 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.

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Team Canada competed with more confidence and was more aggressive throughout the game but shot a poor percentage from the field 21-of-64 (33%) for the second night in a row.

Andy Rautins three-point shooting kept Canada in the game as they shot a respectable 6-of-17 (35%) from deep.

France got easy looks as the game went on and shot 26-of-56 (46%) from the floor. However they were poor from beyond the arc, shooting only 3-for-16 (19%).

The strong team play and unselfishness of Les Blues was on display as they racked up 23 assists compared to the Canadians 13. Turnovers were evenly split at 15-apiece, but again Canada committed many unforced errors.

The rebounding war went to France with a 38-34 advantage, including seven on the offensive end with several second chance possessions ending up in three-point plays underneath Canada’s basket.

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The mini brawl that resulted in the Leo Rautins getting tossed occurred after France’s Mickael Galebale illegally shoved Andy Rautins during a battle for offensive position underneath Les Blues basket.

Andy Rautins pushed back in self-defense and a mini scuffle occurred. As normal, Canadian usual suspects, Jesse Young and Aaron Doornekamp were in the mix of things, ready to regulate the situation.

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Canadian head coach Leo Rautins, was given a mouthful earlier in the game from the same referee that tossed him. Rautins was warned after he left the coaches box to chat with the Spurs Tony Parker.

The loss now leaves Canada 0-2 in their current European tour which will now take them to Italy for another two-game series.

Canada will play Bulgaria on Friday and Macedonia on Saturday. They’ll then travel to face the Czech Republic twice before returning home.

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The last time Canada was in Italy things turned ugly.

On August 1st 2009, Italy’s Stefano Mancinelli elbowed Canada’s Aaron Doornekamp in the back of the head igniting a bench clearing brawl that resulted in Mancinelli’s suspension by FIBA.

Despite the loss head Coach Leo Rautins should be happy with the effort displayed by his troops after they suffered the biggest margin (106-44) of defeat of his coaching era a night earlier.

The 62-point beating could very well be Canada’s largest smacking to date at an International sanctioned FIBA event.

France which already has five players with NBA experience are still without Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah who will miss the upcoming 2011 EuroBasket qualifiers due to a ankle injury that has bothered him since March 28, 2011.

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Canada is also without the services of Joel Anthony, Spurs Cory Joseph and Carl English all three should be ready to roll for the 2011 FIBA Americas qualifier.

Game Notes
Kelly Onlynk only played 21 seconds and injured, what appeared to be his left knee in the first-quarter of the game and didn’t return. He was knocked down by his own teammate after a charge call on a French player. Carl English missed his second straight game.

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