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NBA Loaded France Blow past Team Canada in Exhibition Opener

Boris Diaw scored 16 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds and on his way to player-of-the-game honors as France embarrassed Canada 106-44 on home soil.

Les Blues outscored Team Canada 30-8 in the first quarter and continued their dominance in the second period, taking a commanding 57-17 lead to the locker room.

The second half wasn’t any kinder to the Canadians as Le Blues strong defense, height advantage and NBA talent beat Canada up in all aspects of the game.

France shot a scorching 43/65 (66%) from the field and 9/20 (45%) from deep. Canada was a poor 16/55 (29%) and only 2/16 (13%) from three-point land.

A more disturbing stat was the rebounding battle where Canada was out-muscled 38-18, culminating to 66 points scored in the paint compared to the Canadians 16.

Canada turned the ball over 16 times (many unforced errors) to only 11 from Team France.

Denham Brown and Levon Kendall both scored 8 points to lead Canada, followed by Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga Bulldogs, NCAA) with 6 points and three rebounds.

France got strong performances from all its current and former NBA players, including Mickael Gelabale (Drafted by Lakers) 15 points (6/7 FG, 3/3 3FG), Tony Parker (Spurs) 10 points and eight assists, Ronny Turiaf (Knicks) and Nicolas Batum (Blazers) also hit the score sheet with 9 points apiece.

Canada will need to get stronger performances from their back-court if they plan on giving the Les Blues faithful a glimpse of all the buzz that Canadian Basketball is receiving right now.

Jermaine Anderson (2 points) started at the point guard position as expected, but found it extremely difficult to run the offense. Back-up point guard Brady Heslip (4 points) didn’t fair any better.

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Turiaf’s teammate and Knicks shooting guard Andy Rautins had a rough night going only 1/6 for the game and only 3 points.

Canada played without Miami Heat Center Joel Anthony and veteran shooting guard Carl English.

The teams meet again tomorrow as they prepare for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Qualifiers.

France will participate in the upcoming 2011 EuroBasket qualifiers in Lithuania. Canada will try its luck at the 2011 FIBA America Qualifiers in Argentina.

France is ranked by FIBA as the 14th best team in world while Canada checks in at the 23rd spot, down four positions since the previous rankings.

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