On Tuesday when France defeated Manu Ginobili and Argentina, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker was the driving force in the victory with 11 points in the fourth quarter of that game.
Thursday morning in London, Parker picked up where he left off as he led France to a 82-74 victory over Lithuania with a game high 27 points.
Portland Trailblazers forward Nicolas Batum also helped Parker with 21 points, while Parker’s Spurs teammate Boris Diaw provided 10 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Nando De Colo and Mikael Gelabale also helped France with eight points a piece.
Lithuania was led by Martynas Pocius (18 points) and Linas Kleiza (17 points), but in the end, the French still had too many weapons. Here’s the Rundown.
First quarter: France (FRA) 25, Lithuania (LIT) 21
Player of the quarter (FRA): Parker – Parker got off to a quick start with 11 points and two assists in the opening quarter by playing aggressively and penetrating the basket where he either; found an open teammate, scored a layup, or got to the free throw line. Parker even hit a late 3-pointer nearing the end of the quarter.
Player of the quarter (LIT): Pocius – Pocius led Lithuania with seven points in the first quarter, by scoring both from inside and outside. .
Highlight (FRA): On one play in transition, Diaw found Batum ahead of everyone else and fed him the ball for a dunk in the open court.
Second quarter: FRA 39, LIT 43
Player of the quarter (FRA): Batum – Batum had 10 points for France in second quarter; doing it by hitting from the outside, and finishing in transition and getting to the free throw line.
Player of the quarter (LIT): Team effort – By half, all but three Lithuanians had scored in the game, they were sharing the ball well and limiting France from getting out in transition.
Spurs spotlight: Parker scored two points in the second quarter after a quick start. Diaw didn’t do much in that quarter, while De Colo missed a 3-pointer, but hit a 16-foot jumper. De Colo also had three assists at half; most of those to Batum.
Third quarter: FRA 59, LIT 52
Player of the quarter (FRA): Diaw/ French defense – The third quarter was sloppy most of the way, but Diaw ignited a late 10-2 French run to close the quarter. Diaw was aggressive offensively by posting and working in the paint to score his points. In the third, France’s defense held Lithuania to just nine points in the quarter.
Fourth quarter: FRA 82, LIT 74
Player of the quarter (FRA): Spurs “French” three – All three Spurs, Parker, Diaw, and De Colo, were the catalysts behind the French closing out the game as Diaw continued to use his passing as a way to get his teammates easy baskets, while De Colo scored six points in the final quarter. Parker did what a team leader needs, hitting important baskets late, and finishing at the free throw line.
Player of the quarter (LIT): Kleiza, Simas Jasaitais – Kleiza did what he could to keep Lithuania close but it still wasn’t enough. Jasaitais also hit some late 3-pointers in the fourth, but that too wasn’t enough to match the amount of weapons the French had.
Highlight (FRA): Early in the fourth, Diaw threw an alley-oop to Kevin Seraphin for a dunk in transition.
France moves to 2-1 in Group A pool play and will face Tunisia on Saturday.