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Canada rout China 109-79 to reach OQT Semi-Finals
VICTORIA (Canada) - Game 1 wasn't so easy; Game 2 looked like a breeze.
Canada dominated China from the opening tip and improved to 2-0 at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a 109-79 win Wednesday. The hosts made this one look easy after being challenged in Tuesday's 97-91 win against Greece.
With the win, Canada moved through to the tournament Semi-Finals.
"You get a THREE, you get a THREE, you get a THREE"— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) June 30, 2021
- Nick Nurse, probably 🇨🇦🔥
🇨🇳 46 - 59 🇨🇦 at the half with 11 threes for Canada 🙌@CanBball #FIBAOQT
WATCH: https://t.co/EpFTk4KNq8 pic.twitter.com/6hzDcKogCo
Turning point: The third quarter. China missed eight straight shots and went 3:28 without scoring during one stretch in the frame, allowing Canada's lead to balloon to 23 points. It was a 13-point game at halftime.
Game hero: Andrew Wiggins. The former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick dialed up his second straight 20-plus-point performance on 5-of-9 shooting and was 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. In contention: Dwight Powell nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (11 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) was a team-best plus-30. China's Mingxuan Hu led all players with 24 points.
Stats don't lie: Canada scored 20 points off of 15 China turnovers and turned 20 offensive rebounds into 30 second-chance points. The hosts owned the backboards (55-37) and dished out 30 assists on 36 made field goals.
Bottom line: Canada has more height, better shooters and is the superior team. China made their runs, but never seriously threatened Canada's lead. The hosts led by double digits from the 9:07 mark of the second quarter through the end of the game.
They said: "China came out like we expected, running and playing hard and playing lots of defenses. ... We also expected them to make some shots and make runs and they made a couple of them at us, but in the end we challenged the shooters enough and limited them to one shot enough and our offense was pretty good tonight." - Canada coach Nick Nurse
"When you play together, the game comes easy. When you're in a good rhythm, everyone's going to get after it offensively, defensively. We have a lot of unselfish guys. We all want to see each other win, do good, and out there, we're just trying to play aggressive, play to win, play the right way. I feel like if we keep playing that way, keep playing together, then the sky is the limit for us." - Canada's Andrew Wiggins