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Canadian men upend Latvia to win group, stay unbeaten at basketball World Cup

Canada guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander passes the ball to teammate Dwight Powell as Lebanon guard Ali Mezher, right, and forward Ali Haidar, third right, react during the Basketball World Cup group H match between Canada and Lebanon at the Indonesia Arena stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a game-high 27 points and Canada overcame a sluggish first quarter to rout Latvia 101-75 on Tuesday at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Canada trailed 23-13 after the first quarter and led by just one point at the half before dominating the rest of the match.

Gilgeous-Alexander added six rebounds, six assists and two steals for Canada. RJ Barrett had 22 points and five rebounds, with Kelly Olynyk (15 points) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (14 points) also scoring in double digits.

Andrejs Grazulis had 16 points for Latvia.

Canada concluded Group H play at 3-0, outscoring its opposition by an average of 37 points per match.

Canada and Latvia (2-1) will next go into a group with the top two teams in Group G, which wraps up play Wednesday.

Defending champion Spain is already through to the group, with Brazil and Ivory Coast battling for the other spot.

The Dominican Republic, Australia and Italy advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Through play Tuesday, 10 teams have reached the final 16 with six more berths to be determined on Wednesday.

Defending champion Spain, United States, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Montenegro previously clinched a berth in the next round.

Josh Giddey scored 26 points, Xavier Cooks added 24 and Australia (2-1) advanced to the knockout stage by taking second place behind group winner Germany. The Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists entered the World Cup as one of the favorites.

Japan (1-2) disappointed home fans in Okinawa and could not repeat its rousing come-from-behind victory on Sunday versus Finland. Hawkinson led Japan with 33 points and Yuta Watanabe chipped in with 24.

Hawkinson hit 12 of 13 two-point field goal attempts and was 1 of 3 on 3-pointers.

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