Sep 3, 2014 6:56 PM
Spain beats France 88-64 to go 4-0 at World Cup
The Associated Press
GRANADA, Spain (AP) Ricky Rubio's quick hands set the tone and Marc Gasol had a game-high 17 points as Spain beat France 88-64 Wednesday to remain undefeated at the Basketball World Cup.
Rubio had five assists, three steals and two drives down the lane for layups in the first quarter in his 100th appearance for the national team, with the Minnesota Timberwolves point guard looking eager to atone for Spain's loss to France at last year's European Championship.
Rubio struggled later, but Spain was never threatened down the stretch.
France focused on containing Pau Gasol, but the Chicago Bulls player still scored 15 points to nearly match his brother Marc.
The closest France got was 19-19, but Juan Carlos Navarro sunk a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first quarter. Navarro then drained another 3 followed by Marc also scoring from long range.
And France never came close again.
"I am disappointed with the score spread, because we started quite well," said France coach Vincent Collet. "When you let them go they become unstoppable."
France, playing without star Tony Parker, was kept afloat by Nicolas Batum and Antoine Diot with 11 points each.
Spain (4-0) returns to the raucous Palacio de Deportes to play Serbia (2-2) on Thursday, when France (2-2) faces Brazil (3-1) to close Group A.
Also in Granada, forward Marquinhos Vieira made six 3-pointers in a 81-73 win for Brazil after it weathered Serbia's explosive third quarter, when it erased an 18-point deficit.
At other venues, the U.S., Greece and Slovenia also improved to 4-0 to remain in first place in their groups with one game to go.
U.S. forward Kenneth Faried kept up his sharp shooting as he led the U.S. with 16 points in a 106-71 over the Dominican Republic (2-2) in Group C in Bilbao.
In Group B in Seville, Greece dished out 23 assists to beat Croatia 76-65 with forwards Kostas Papanikolaou and Kostas Kaimakoglou scoring 14 points each.
Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns scored 14 points and Slovenia avoided an upset, holding off Angola 93-87 in Group D in Gran Canaria.
Point guard Roberto Fortes scored 21 points while center Yanick Moreira added 20 more for Angola (1-3).
IRAN 88, EGYPT 73
Hamed Haddadi dominated the paint with 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Samad Nikkah Bahrami hit six three pointers as Iran (1-3) never trailed the winless Egypt (0-4).
ARGENTINA 81, SENEGAL 46
Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola scored 22 points and hauled in 14 rebounds as Argentina improved to 3-1, positioning the South Americans to play for the group's top spot when they take on Greece in the last group phase match. Gorgui Dieng had 11 points for Senegal (2-2).
PUERTO RICO 77, PHILIPPINES 73
J.J. Barea scored the go-head layup and made three free throws to out-duel Andray Blatche and give Puerto Rico (1-3) its first win of the tournament. He finished with 30 points. Blatche scored 25 points for the Philippines (0-4).
TURKEY 77, FINLAND 73, OT
Cenk Akyol made a tying 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation, and Turkey (2-2) evened its record behind 22 points from New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik. Petteri Koponen scored 17 points for Finland (1-3), but missed two free throws in the final seconds of regulation with the Finns up by three.
NEW ZEALAND 73, UKRAINE 61
New Zealand (1-3) grabbed 48 rebounds to Ukraine's 25, and Kirk Penney scored 17 points as the Tall Blacks kept alive their chances at the second round. Maxym Kornienko had 15 points for Ukraine (2-2).
LITHUANIA, 79 KOREA 49
Adas Juskevicius made six 3-pointers to help ensure Lithuania (3-1) can still fight for first place when it plays Slovenia in the final group game.
AUSTRALIA 70, MEXICO 62
Aron Baynes scored 21 points in a game Australia (3-1) led for the entire second half. Atlanta Hawks center Gustavo Ayon had 11 points for Mexico (1-3).