After suffering a minor thigh injury in France's victory over Italy on Sunday, San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker led France to a 97-96 overtime victory over Serbia.
The game was close throughout and going into the fourth quarter, Serbia held a one point lead. Both teams would exchange leads throughout the fourth quarter but with France in final possession of the last play, they had a chance to seal the game. Parker would take and miss a 19-foot jump shot to send the game into overtime tied at 80 a piece.
In the overtime, both teams would again battle back-and-forth exchanging blows when former NBA player Mikael Gelabale hit a three pointer off of a Parker assist to help France regain the lead 95-93. On the other end of the floor, Serbia would answer back with their own three to hold a 96-95 lead with 24 seconds remaining in the game.
Parker took the ball down the floor, crossed his defender who was trying to get a steal, then Parker got into the lane and drew the foul. Parker sunk both game winning free throws to put France ahead 97-96; Serbia would miss one final layup and France went on to win Group B of the opening round of the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket.
Parker led France with a team high 24 points, six steals, two assists, and two rebounds though he struggled with his shooting going 6-of-20 from the floor in 39 minutes. Parker was exceptional at the free throw line as he shot a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Spurs' draftee Nando De Colo wasn't used as much as he only played seven minutes in the game and grabbed one rebound while missing his only jump shot he took.
Portland Trail Blazers' Nicolas Batum was second in scoring for France with 18 points and four steals in a team-high 40 minutes of action on the floor.
Serbia was led by Marko Keselj's game-high 25 points. France's defense did an excellent job by holding Serbia's leading scorer Dusko Savanovic to just 10 points. Former Boson Celtics center Nenad Kristic finished with 22 points but only two rebounds.
*Earlier in the day, Spurs draftee Davis Bertans and Latvia fell to Dirk Nowitzki and Germany 81-80. Bertans had five points, three rebounds, while shooting 2-of-5 in 14 minutes against Germany. Nowitzki finished with 11 points and three rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
*Erazem Lorbek and Slovenia fell to Russia 65-64 as Lorbek led Slovenia with 14 points, five rebounds and one steal in 31 minutes.
Round two of the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket will resume on Wednesday in Lithuania.
(Photo: Yahoo Sports)
Hope Parker can lead the France to London. That 19- foot jumper at the end is a bad chose(remember game 1 against Memphis? '-.-) .
Maybe the lockout would be good for some of these NBA players after all. They have been playing hard against each other and they could use the break. Sucks for the fans, though.