After defeating Canada by 62 points in yesterday’s exhibition matchup, San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker and France worked hard today to defeat Canada 86 to 69.
Parker led France with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds while Spurs draftee Nando De Colo finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four steals, and three assists.
At halftime, France barely led 42 to 38. Parker had nine points, De Colo just five points. The game stayed close throughout the third quarter as France was leading by just one with three minutes remaining.
Right before the third quarter ended, Parker went on a scoring spree by driving through three Canadians from the three point line to the basket in one burst of speed. He helped the French take a 63 to 56 lead over Canada going into the fourth quarter.
After getting to the free throw line, Parker was benched with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter as he helped push France’s lead to 14 points. De Colo would sub in for Parker and immediately score five points. First a transition lay-up, then a three pointer with a Canadian player in his face. Mickael Pietrus rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter. The injury didn’t look too serious, but he wouldn’t return to the game. In the middle of the fourth quarter, the game got testy as Mickael Gelabale got into it with a Canadian player. Leo Rautins, Canada’s head coach, was ejected from the game.
After the skirmish was settled, De Colo scored another fast-break layup as the French led by 20 points with three minutes remaining in the game. With two minutes remaining, Charlotte’s Boris Diaw threw a no-look pass to Portland’s Nicolas Batum for a throw-down dunk that made the building cheer loudly. The French would pull away to finish the game 86 to 69.
Parker did struggle shooting as he went 4 of 11 from the field and 8 of 13 from the free throw line. He also missed all four of his three point attempts. Batum finished with 15 points, Diaw with 13 points, and New York’s Ronny Turiaf with six points.
IAddendum: I read in another article that the spurs coaching staff is grooming g.neal as their point guard. All his life he is playing shooting guard because that where he is effective. Why change that now? Is there a compelling reason for the change? Is it economics? Then I understand. If not economics, mgnt from the view of a fan, the team is better served to enlist deColo who is a natural point guard who could become a resident point guard molded in the spurs system. If they have to trade, R. Sessions may fit there system. He is relatively new, young, a point guard who has good peripheral vision, who can both shoot and guard. Trade R.Jefferson and some of the free agents.
Timely show of talent by Nando deColo showing the spurs he is ready to play at the next level.If deColo is available the spurs should take a second look at him. He appears to be a good sub for TP which both could extend in the nba. He is tall 6'5" for a point guard and therefore, create mismatches.He has previously played with the spurs summer league so he knows their system. Pops can used him immediately even if he is a rookie in the team.