In the final day of the London International Basketball Invitational, San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker and France remained undefeated as they beat Serbia in a close game 80 to 77 after France let a 23 point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Before that game, Great Britain lost to Australia in overtime 91 to 90. Spurs draftee Ryan Richards again saw very little playing time in the loss to the Australians.
France was led by Parker who finished with 24 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one pivotal steal that sealed the victory in 29 minute of action. Spurs draftee Nando De Colo had 11 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time. Portland's Nicolas Batum was the second scoring French player with 14 points, two steals, and three blocks.
At the end of the first quarter, Parker had seven points as France led 25 to 18. By halftime, the French were cruising leading 48 to 31. The margin stayed rather large going into the second half as France held a 68 to 49 point lead going into the final quarter. Then Serbia finally answered back.
The Serbs went on a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead on a possession in the fourth. Parker would make a game clinching steal in the final minute and feed the pass to Batum to seal the victory for France.
Chicago's Joakim Noah finished with four points and four rebounds. Charlotte's Boris Diaw had seven points and one block. Serbia was led by Kosta Perovic's 14 points and former Boston Celtic Nenad Kristic, who had eight points and five rebounds for the Serbs.
For the second consecutive day, Luol Deng led Great Britain with 26 points. Richards only played four minutes in the game and took one missed three pointer in those limited minutes.
The game for Great Britain against Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown and Australia stayed close throughout as Australia led 39 to 35 by halftime. Australia would hold the lead at the end of the third quarter 62 to 59.
With the game tied at 80 and 1.8 seconds remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter, Deng took and missed the game winning three which sent both squads into overtime. In overtime, Deng had a key turnover and Australia finished the game with free throws.
Great Britain will play Latvia in their last friendly matchup later this week before the 2011 Eurobasket begins.
For Spurs fans, this will put Richards against another Spurs draftee, Davis Bertans.
Contrasting fortunes for N.deColo and R.Richards. DeColo showed that he is ready to play at the next level, while Richards was not a factor in the games played by England. Maybe its time to give DeColo another shot at the spurs rteam. Maybe he could give them a good sub for TP. As for Richards, he may stay another year in europe and polish his game. Its ok he is only 20 yrs old. Is there a way these games could be viewed on tv?
Looks like the London Invitational looks quite exciting. Wish I had the ability to watch those4 games. It will probably be the only good basketball we will be able to see in a very long time