Tony Parker helped lead France to their first win in the Olympics. France defeated China 88-60, to bounce back from their opening loss to Australia on Saturday.
Les Bleus saw themselves in a dog fight in the first quarter as China was answering their every move with a basket of their own. France would see themselves with a slim five point lead heading into the second quarter. Former San Antonio Spurs guard Nande De Colo helped France open up a big lead in the second as he would score 11 of his team-high 19 points in the quarter.
The French extended their advantage to 42-23 by half-time and stayed in command for the remainder of the contest. Parker played 26 minutes and did not shoot the ball often in the win. He was 3-of-6 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line on his way to14 points.
He distributed and was the floor leader for the Les Bleus as he finished with eight assists. As a team, France assisted on 21 of their 29 made baskets. They shot 60-percent from the field.
Parker found his way into the lane, using his ability to drive past defenders and draw the foul to get himself to the line. This helped France in many ways. Offensively, it gave Parker the opportunity to find his shooters and break down China’s defense. With Parker able to penetrate in the lane, China had to key in on Parker and collapse, when they did Parker had options and was quick to make them. Parker is extremely dangerous when he can get into the paint. If he feels he has an advantage, he will make you pay.
Former Spurs forward, now Utah Jazz player, Boris Diaw logged 21 minutes. He was the player we all knew and loved in San Antonio. He finished with seven points, five assists and four rebounds. He has always been the player to come in and make a mark whether it is scoring or getting others involved, he is exceptional in that area.
France, who lost 87-66 to the Boomers, are now 1-1 in Group A. Parker and France next face Serbia on Wednesday.