It's Day 3 of more group play at the FIBA America competition in Caracas, Venezuela. The absence of some NBA players on their respective teams was especially telling of some of the results, but younger players certainly took the spotlight and performed well.
Donta Smith, a former second-round draft pick, led Venezuela to a win against Francisco Garcia and the Dominican Republic. And with the most impressive individual performance of Sunday was Spurs guard Cory Joseph, who again filled the box score in a big win for Canada.
Canada 91, Brazil 62 -- The Brazilians are without their big guns. NBA players Tiago Splitter, Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao are sitting it out, and on Sunday Brazil felt the void by losing to Canada 91-62 and falling to 0-2 in group play.
Brazil hung tough and had the game tied at 31 with less than four minutes left in the second quarter, but Canada closed out the half on a 13-3 run and never looked back.
Like Brazil, Canada is also at FIBA Americas without some potentially key members - rookies Kelly Olynyk and Anthony Bennett. Yet, Canada moved to 2-1 with the win. Taking advantage of his place on the team is San Antonio Spurs reserve guard Cory Joseph, who flirted with a triple-double in the FIBA Americas opener and on Sunday put in 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Joseph also added nine rebounds and four assists.
Jermaine Anderson added 14 points and Orlando Magic big man Andrew Nicholson scored 13. Canada hit 8-for-19 three-pointers and held the Brazilians to 36 percent shooting. Small forward Guilherme Giovannoni led Brazil with 11 points and Alex Garcia added 10.
Mexico 87, Paraguay 65 -- Gustavo Ayon and the Mexican national team moved to 2-0 on Sunday by beating a very beaten-down Paraguay team, 87-65. Ayon, the Atlanta Hawks center, hit all seven of his shots and scored 14, which was second on the team behind guard Orlando Mendez, who scored 17 points.
Five Mexican players scored in double-figures and former UCLA Bruins forward Lorenzo Mata led the team with 11 rebounds. Mexico out-rebounded Paraguay by 11 on the day.
Paraguay was led by Ramon Sanchez's 15 points but hardly had a grip. It fell behind 29-6 late in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 33.
Venezuela 70, Dominican Republic 65 -- Former Atlanta Hawks draft pick Donta Smith led Venezuela with 19 points en route to a slim win against Houston Rockets guard Francisco Garcia and the Dominican Republic.
Smith, who last year played for Israeli-based Maccabi Haifa, added seven rebounds as the Venezuelan team benefitted by grabbing 19 offensive rebounds in a defense-oriented victory. The second opportunities helped in a game where neither team shot above 35 percent from the floor.
Venezuela led by single-digits for almost the entire game and steadily with a 10-point cushion throughout most of the second half. But with the Dominican Republic trailing by seven with five minutes left in the game, Garcia scored five straight points as part of a 7-0 run to tie the game with three minutes to play.
Garcia scored 12 points for the Dominican squad, which was led by guard James Feldeine's 19.
The third consecutive victory for Puerto Rico came without much contribution from Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea, who played just eight minutes on Sunday night, tallying two points and two assists.
Instead it was 18 points and eight rebounds from Balkman, as well as 19 points each from former Boston Celtics point guard Carlos Arroyo and forward Alexander Gallindo that led the way in scoring for the team.
After digging a 20-point hole in the first half, Uruguay was unable to ever make the game competitive, as they lost each quarter. Leading the team in points was guard Leandro Garcia with 17, but the team scored just 14 points in the paint compared to 24 from Puerto Rico.