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Germany tops Canada 86-81 in 2023 FIBA World Cup warm-up action

Canada’s senior men’s national team dropped a close 86-81 loss to Germany in the first of five 2023 FIBA World Cup preparation match-ups.

Daniel Theis throws down big put back dunk to help Germany defeated Canada 86-81 in 2023 FIBA World Cup exhibition game
Daniel Theis throws down big put back dunk to help Germany defeated Canada 86-81 in 2023 FIBA World Cup exhibition game - Photo: Germany Basketball Federation

Canada’s senior men’s national basketball team opened-up preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a close 86-81 loss to Germany at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

Trailing for the entirety of the game, Canada tied the score at 79-79 with 58.5 seconds to play, but was unable to complete the comeback as Orlando Magic’s 2021-22 NBA all-rookie forward Franz Wagner connected on a three-pointer off of the ensuing time-out to help Germany seal Canada’s fate.

Canada struggled early on with Germany’s length, size and hot three-point shooting as the Germans knocked down 8-of-15 (53%) field-goals and held the Canadians scoreless during a four and a half minute stretch that resulted in a 13-0 run to jump ahead 27-14 after the first-quarter.

The lead stretched to a game-high 18 points (38-20) at the mid-point of the second-quarter as Bayern Munich veteran guard Andreas Obst drilled two three-pointers to put Germany ahead 50-34 at half-time.

Behind strong defensive perimeter play and quality three-point shooting from RJ Barrett and Dillon Brooks, Canada kick-started the third-quarter on a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to 50-47. Germany quickly responded with a 15-2 run of their own and maintained a slim 66-58 edge with ten minutes to play.

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Opting to play without his starters for the entire fourth-quarter, recently named Canadian head coach Jordi Fernández turned to his bench for a spark.

Utilizing, a mobile and interchangeable line-up of Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Philip Scrubb, Luguentz Dort, Thomas Scrubb and Kyle Alexander, Canada clamped down on defence, forced multiple turnovers and outscored Germany 21-13 to tie the game with under a minute to play.

Canadian guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker dribbles the ball against Germany during 2023 FIBA World Cup exhibition game
Canadian guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker dribbles the ball against Germany during 2023 FIBA World Cup exhibition game – Photo: Canada Basketball

Oklahoma City Thunder defensive stalwart Luguentz Dort (Montreal, Que.) led four Canadians in double-figures by scoring ten of his team-high 14 points in the fourth-quarter and added three steals. RJ Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.) finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two steals on 5-of-10 shooting and 2-of-4 from three-pointers

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Toronto, Ont.) and Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, BC) also contributed 11 points each, with Alexander-Walker scoring eights down the stretch. Gilgeous-Alexander was held in check with just 8 points and four rebounds on 2-of-10 shooting.

Both teams shot the ball relatively well from downtown, with a combined total of 22-of-64. Germany knocking down 11-for-34 (32%) from deep, while Canada finished 11-of-30 (37%) percent from three-pointers.

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Franz Wagner led Germany with a game-high 18 points, Daniel Theis contributed with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists. Newly acquired Toronto Raptors point guard Dennis Schröder also had a strong showing with 16 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and Andreas Obst finished with 15 points on 4-of-8 three-pointers.

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Team Canada will take on New Zealand on August 12th. The game will be played in Hamburg, Germany.

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