Canada came to the World Cup expecting that its group would be extremely challenging, and Australia proved that to be correct.
Matthew Dellavedova scored 24 points, and the Australians opened the fourth quarter on a huge run to pull away and beat Canada 108-92 on Sunday in a Group H opener at Dongguan, China.
“Good to start the tournament with a win,” Australia’s Chris Goulding said. “Our first half, we showed we can do some really good stuff.”
Goulding scored 16, Patty Mills had 15 and Joe Ingles finished with 13 points and nine assists for Australia. Andrew Bogut added 12 points on 6 for 7 shooting, plus grabbed nine rebounds, and Aron Baynes scored 10 for the winners.
Khem Birch scored 18 for Canada, and Cory Joseph scored 16.
Australia led 52-40 at the half, but Canada roared out of the gate in the third quarter on a 25-7 run over the first 5:20. That put Canada up 65-59, and seemed to put the Australians on the ropes.
The Boomers rallied.
Canada’s lead was 77-76 going into the fourth quarter, but the last 10 minutes were all Australia. An 8-0 run by the Aussies put them on top to stay, and they wound up outscoring the Canadians 28-6 over the first 8:44 of the final period.
The loss puts Canada in a likely must-win scenario against Lithuania on Tuesday.
“I thought the start wasn’t very good for us, I didn’t think the end was very good and I think the middle was excellent,” Canada coach Nick Nurse said. “We didn’t seem to be catching many breaks or the ball bouncing our way early, but we regrouped and after halftime we came out and put a heck of a third quarter together.”
It was the sixth straight World Cup loss for Canada; the Canadians went 0-5 at the world championships in 2010 and didn’t qualify for the tournament in 2014.
TURKEY 86, JAPAN 67
At Shanghai, Turkey got its Group E schedule started with a wire-to-wire win over Japan behind 17 points apiece from Ersan Ilyasova and Melih Mahmutoglu. Rui Hachimura scored 15 points for Japan, as did Nick Fazekas.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 80, JORDAN 76
At Shenzhen, Victor Liz scored 15 points to lead the Dominican Republic to a Group G win. Ahmad Al Dwairi had 34 points and 10 rebounds for Jordan, which got 24 points from Dar Tucker. Jordan was down by 16 points late in the third quarter, then pulled into a 64-64 tie early in the fourth after a 22-6 run. Jordan took a pair of one-point leads late, but the Dominicans finished on a 7-2 run.
BRAZIL 102, NEW ZEALAND 94
At Nanjing, Brazil outscored New Zealand 28-12 in the third quarter and held on to win a Group F opener. Leandro Barbosa led Brazil with 22 points. Corey Webster scored 19 for New Zealand.
The U.S. meets the Czech Republic in Group E, Greece plays Montenegro in Group F, France plays Germany in Group G and Senegal meets Lithuania in Group H.
Group A: Venezuela (0-1) vs. Ivory Coast (0-1), China (1-0) vs. Poland (1-0)
Group B: Nigeria (0-1) vs. Argentina (1-0), Korea (0-1) vs. Russia (1-0)
Group C: Tunisia (0-1) vs. Iran (0-1), Puerto Rico (1-0) vs. Spain (1-0).
Group D: Italy (1-0) vs. Angola (0-1), Serbia (1-0) vs. Philippines (0-1).