Canada vs China FIBA Olympic Qualifying: Canada Dominates 109-79 To Win Group A
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Canada vs China Wednesday evening from Victoria, B.C. saw Canada punch their ticket to the Semi-Finals. A 109-79 win over China would solidify group A. Canada would jump out to a fast start thanks to R.J. Barrett and some strong 3 point shooting. China had no response and would fall more and more behind as the game went on.
Andrew Wiggins would lead Canada with 20 points and 4 rebounds. It was great to see for Canada Basketball fans as the team looks to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. R.J. Barrett added in 16 points and 5 assists. Canada will now wait for the second-place team from Group B. They will take on the winner of the Czech Republic and Uraguay on Saturday in the Semi-Finals. Let’s see how the game went down for Canada vs China in the second match of qualifying.
Slow Starting 1st Quarter But Canada Pulls Ahead Late
Canada jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead thanks to a couple of 3’s. R.J. Barrett got in the action before China would respond with a bucket and a foul. They were running everything through their 7 foot 1 center. China would take an 11-10 lead before Canada would have a nice offensive sequence and score on back-to-back plays. It was 15-13 at the 5-minute mark when China would make subs off the bench. #3 would make a nice reverse layup to tie things at 15.
Dwight Powell would try and drive but was called for a charge and a turnover. China would come back down and take the lead back 17-15. R.J. Barrett decided to take things into his own hands with a strong drive. He was fouled and sent to the line where he would tie it up at 17. Canada would push the lead up to 5 #22 with the pull-up bank shot. China would head to the line with a minute and 34 seconds to go in the first quarter.
China would sink both buckets but Canada would score quick and then push the lead up to 8. Nicholson would hit a big 3 and China was forced to call a timeout with the score 27-19. After the time out both teams would trade misses. Canada was playing hard on the defensive end and forced a turnover with 16 seconds left. Canada would get the last shot but Nicholson wasn’t able to get the layup to go under the basket. The quarter would end with Canada up 27-19.
2nd Quarter Canada Extends The Lead
Canada would start the second half off with a miss but China was cold from 3, They were 1 for 10 at this point. Nicholson was fouled looking for a slam dunk and would head to the line and make both free throws. Canada increased the lead to 10 and was able to get a turnover from China before #23 would slam it home on the fast break. After a tip-in by China, Baines would the Chinese captain would trade 3’s and buckets as the score was 36-26 at the 7:10 mark.
After another turnover by China, Canada would make them pay on the transition with a nice pass from Wiggins to Nicholson. China was forced to call a timeout down 41-26. China would come out of the timeout with a bucket plus the foul. They wouldn’t hit the free throw but would get things back down to 11 after another quick bucket. China had switched to a zone defense and it was causing all sorts of problems for Canada.
That was until Lou Dort came in and made a big 3 to extend the lead back up to 44-30. The teams would trade buckets as we hit 4:30 left in the half. Things got a bit sloppy with turnovers for both teams before Barrett would nail another 3. Canada was able to bring the lead to 52-34 going 10-18 from the 3 point line after another one from Alexander-walker. China was looking for answers and offensive when #2 would hit a 3 of his own. Nick Nurse would call a timeout to slow things down.
Canada was up 52-37 and looked to close out the half strong against China. Lyles would drive hard off the timeout and make the 2 shots. #14 would get a bucket in the paint before R.J. Barrett would hit another 3 and it was 57-39 with 2 minutes left in the half. China would cut into things to end the half thanks to some nice defense and a shot from beyond the arc from 3 before #4 would end the half with another 3 to cut the lead to 59-46 for Canada at the half.
China Tries To Clay Back In The 3rd Quarter
The 3rd quarter would start off slow for both teams before Powell would gather up a rebound and find Andrew Wiggins for 2. China would miss a 3 before Canada would do the same as the lead was 61-46. China was trying to cut into the lead from beyond the arc but Barrett would hit another 3 to bring the lead back up to 15 with 7:19 left in the quarter. Canada was doing a great job on the glass to get second chance opportunities but China was hanging around making just enough baskets.
With 6 minutes left Canada had the ball up 12 points on China but would turn it over. After a missed 3 from China Lyles would hit a nice fade away to bring the score to 68-54. China was starting to slow down and switched back to a zone but Powell was able to break through and throw down a big dunk. Barrett would hit his 3rd 3 points of the game and bring the lead back up to 19. Canada was starting to smother China as things ticked down past 4 minutes in the quarter.
After a stop on the defensive end that forced China into an airball. Powell would be fouled and sent to the line with a chance to push the lead over 20. He would make both and Canada was up 75-54. It was starting to become too much for China to handle. They weren’t able to get out and cover the 3 and Powell was dominating on the offensive glass giving lots of second chances. Lou Dort would get sent to the line and after making both shots Canada had a 79-56 point lead.
Canada would go a bit cold to end the 3rd quarter as China would go on a 9-0 run. They would end the 3rd quarter with a big 3 to cut the lead to 14 points and Canada was up just 79-65 with one quarter to go.
Canada vs China Would Empty The Bench In The 4th Quarter
Canada would start the 4th quarter driving hard to the line and converting both shots. China would miss on the other end and Canada would try and take advantage. They were able to push the lead back up to 84-65 after the opening minute. China was trying to get back into the game with 3’s but every time Canada had an answer. Wilder would hit a 3 at the 8-minute mark to push the lead back to 20.
With 6:40 left in the game, China would hit a 3 to bring it back to 20 points but Canada had an answer every time. China wasn’t going away but it was a hard hill to climb for a team down so much. With a massive lead, Nick Nurse would empty the bench for Canada. They would cruise to a 109-79 win to clinch group A.
Andrew Wiggins would throw down 20 points to lead Team Canada. RJ Barrett chipped in with 16 points and 5 assists while Andrew Nicholson added in 14 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.
Sports Talk Line Network And Canada Men’s Basketball
Canada will head to the Semi-Finals after a big 109-79 win against China on Wednesday. Make sure you check out Sports Talk Line for more coverage of the Canadian team as they look to qualify for the Olympics. Canada will take on the Czech Republic Saturday afternoon at 1:05 pm PST on CBC and CBC Sports.
Also, be sure to check out my latest episode of The Unnamed Sports Show as I speak with Blake Murphy writer for The Athletic.
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