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Canada opens FIBA World Cup with dominant win over France

Canada made good on its promise to bring a ‘Game 7 mentality’ to the FIBA World Cup with a smothering defensive effort in a 95-65 win over international powerhouse France.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for the red and white with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Evan Fournier put up 21 points for France, who shot a dismal 21 per cent from three.

Gilgeous-Alexander entered the half struggling with just two baskets on nine shots from the floor, but ended 9-of-18.

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Canada took a three-point lead into halftime before blowing the game wide open with a 25-8 third quarter.

Team captain Kelly Olynyk had 18 points, four rebounds and a block.

Watch the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Sportsnet

Canada’s brightest basketball stars are going for gold at the FIBA World Cup in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. Fans can watch every Team Canada game plus the quarterfinals, semifinals and final live on Sportsnet and SN NOW beginning Aug. 25.

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Dillon Books added 12 points, including an emphatic slam dunk to open the scoring for Canada.

Evan Fournier led France with 21 points, with 19 coming in the first half.

Canada’s next game comes against No. 43 Lebanon on Sunday at 5:45 a.m. ET/2:45 a.m. PT on Sportsnet.

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