Canada defeats Latvia to remain unbeaten, tops group for 1st time at World Cup
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recorded 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists, RJ Barrett added 22 points, and Canada beat Latvia 101-75 on Tuesday to go undefeated in the first round of group play at the FIBA World Cup.
Canada topped its group for the first time in FIBA history. Its 3-0 record will carry over into the second round of the group phase, where the team is slated to play the top-ranked team in the world - Spain. The Canadians need to finish with a top-two record in the second group phase in order to advance to the quarter-finals.
Latvia was up by as many as 12 points in the first half, but the Canadians rallied and went on a 20-7 run in the second quarter that was capped off with an RJ Barrett layup, giving the team a 43-42 lead. Canada then outscored its Group H opponent 58-34 in the second half.
Andrejs Grazulis led Latvia in scoring with 16 points, former NBA forward Rodion Kurucs added 11, and Oklahoma City Thunder sharpshooter Davis Bertans chipped in seven points off the bench.
Lu Dort missed his second game in a row for the Canadians due to precautionary measures.
Canada is the third team in men's World Cup history to win its first three games by at least 25 points, according to TSN's Keerthika Uthayakumar.
Other teams that have qualified for the second round of the group phase include the Dominican Republic, Italy, the United States, Lithuania, Montenegro, Germany, Australia, Spain, and Latvia.
Canada needs to finish with a top-two record among the American teams in order to qualify for an Olympic berth in 2024. Its next game is on Friday.
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