Undermanned Spurs clobbered by Blazers

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball

Without their Big 3, the San Antonio Spurs (23-10) lacked the size and firepower to matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers (18-16).

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and the Blazers routed San Antonio 137-97 Tuesday night while the Spurs rested Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points, shooting 5-of-7 on three-pointers, and had eight assists for the Blazers, who led by as many as 48 points and sat all of their starters for most of the fourth quarter.

Gerald Wallace and Nicolas Batum each had 19 points in the win.

Kawhi Leonard had 24 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and one block to lead San Antonio, which snapped an 11-game winning streak overall and an eight-game streak on the road.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game that he was resting Parker and Duncan because the Spurs were playing three games in four nights.

“They’ve been going and going and going and if you don’t do it now I think you’re asking for trouble,” Popovich said.

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Spurs’ Parker gets a chance to put stamp on legacy

As France meets defending champion Spain for the 2011 EuroBasket title match on Sunday, aolsportingnews.com provided a feel good story about San Antonio Spurs guard and French superstar Tony Parker.

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker is the unquestioned leader of the French national team. If he leads them to a EuroBasket crown, it will put a stamp on his legacy.

There will be familiar names up and down the rosters of the French and Spanish national teams — Pau and Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez, Boris Diaw, Joakim Noah, Nicolas Batum.

But other than seeing those guys in action, this will be a game worth watching, because it will tell us a lot about the guy who has come to define French basketball in the last decade, for better or for worse: Tony Parker.

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Parker, France defeats Russia; earned Olympic spot and advances to EuroBasket Finals

With an Olympic berth on the line, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Team France showed that with talent, perseverance and hard work it can be done.

Facing the only unbeaten team in the 2011 EuroBasket, the French had the daunting task to hand the Russians their first loss in the tournament in order to earn a spot in next year’s London Olympics.

Tony Parker and Team France gained an Olympic berth on Friday by beating Russia 79-71. (Photo via ESPN)

With the help of the Parker and Portland Trail Blazers’ swingman Nicolas Batum they did.

France won the opening quarter 17-16 and then extended their lead over Russia at halftime, 39-34.

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Parker, France advances to EuroBasket semis; Lorbek and Slovenia falls to Lithuania

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as France rallied to beat Greece 64-56 Thursday and set up a semifinal match against Russia at the 2011 EuroBasket Championship.

Tony Parker leads France into the EuroBasket semifinals.

France started the game slow, scoring just 14 points in the opening quarter and found themselves trailing Greece, 27-31 after the first half of play.

The slow pace and low scoring trend continued in the third quarter as the Greeks held on to a 43-40 lead going into the fourth quarter.

However, Parker scored four straight points to cap an 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter to give France a five-point lead and never looked back.

Ioannis Bourousis kept Greece in the game until Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers made two straight baskets with a block in between to give France a six-point lead with a little more than a minute to go.

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Parker, France held off Turkey; stay unbeaten at EuroBasket

After a much needed rest, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and Team France went back to action against a dangerous Turkey squad led by Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic.

Parker led France over Turkey, as the French nationals remain undefeated after six games.

The game was close early on as Turkey finished the first quarter with two point lead 14-12.

France quickly went to work in the second quarter, outscoring Turkey 19-13 to take a 31-27 advantage at the half.

The French nationals came out strong to start the second half, behind Parker’s dribble drives and penetration and eventually won the third quarter 26-17 and built a 13-point lead entering the final period.

However, Turkey were not yet done.

The Turkish made a fourth quarter comeback, holding France to just 11 points in period while scoring 20 points on their end.

But it wasn’t enough, as Team France held on for 68-64 victory and remain unbeaten at the 2011 EuroBasket Tournament.

Parker had a game-high 20 points for the French nationals and added six rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action.

Portland Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum added 13 points, while Spurs draftee Nando De Colo had three rebounds and two assist in 14 minutes of play for Team France.

Turkoglu led Turkey with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Parker and Team France’s next game is on Friday against host Lithuania at 21:00 (GMT +3) in Vilnius.

Parker’s France, Lorbek’s Slovenia remained unbeaten at EuroBasket

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and the French national team needed a fourth quarter rally to beat a pesky Italian squad 91-84.

Tony Parker suffered a bruised thigh in France's win over Italy.

Italy led 23-20 after the opening period and held a 48-41 advantage over France at halftime.

Both teams scored just 19 points apiece in the third quarter and Italy had a 7-point lead going into the final quarter.

However, that is the time where Team France’s offense clicked.

The French national team outscored Italy 31-17 in the final quarter to stay undefeated at the EuroBasket.

Charlotte Bobcats’ Boris Diaw led Team France with 21 points, Portland Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum added 21 points and four steals, while Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah had 10 points and seven boards.

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Parker early front-runner for MVP, France eyes EuroBasket title

After three games at the 2011 EuroBasket, the French national team remains unbeaten defeating Latvia, Israel and Germany.

Tony Parker is an early front-runner for the MVP award at EuroBasket 2011.

Thanks in large part to San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker who is  clearly the early front-runner for the MVP award in the tournament.

However, Team France’s head coach Vincent Collet is wondering if he’s leaning too heavily on Parker as Les Bleus believe they can reach the 2012 Olympics and even win the 2011 title in Lithuania.

“The Olympics are the dream of every athlete. This year I think is one of the best EuroBaskets ever. Everybody is here and the competition is very, very tough,” said Parker, who leads the EuroBasket in scoring with 28 points and seven assists through three games.

 “I think it will mean a lot to the teams that qualify for the Olympics because this year especially is really tough to qualify because three are a lot of great teams.”

 France have not been at the Olympics since claiming silver in 2000, and Collet’s men would desperately love to be the team to once again walk into the Opening Ceremony.

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Parker, France defeat Israel at EuroBasket for second straight win

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Team France had a slow start on their first game at 2011 EuroBasket. Against Israel, the French national team made sure it wasn’t the case.

Spurs' Tony Parker leads France to second straight victory.

France started the game strong taking the first quarter 24-14, but Israel tried to fight back in the second quarter cutting the lead to 42-35 at halftime.

With Parker attacking the basket and creating for his teammates, Team France pulled away in the third quarter outscoring Israel 22-13 and built a 16-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

In the final period, Israel and France just traded baskets as the French nationals claimed their second victory at the 2011 EuroBasket, 85-68 against Israel.

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Parker’s 31 points powers France to victory over Bertans, Latvia

The French national team led by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker entered the game on Wednesday at the 2011 EuroBasket opener against Latvia as the heavy favorites for a reason, they are loaded with NBA-talent.

France needed 31 points from Tony Parker to put away Davis Bertans and Latvia.

However, Spurs 2011 draftee Davis Bertans and the Latvian national team did not go down without a fight. Latvia surprised Team France during the opening period, that ended up 25-18 in Latvia’s favor.

France quickly tried to return the favor winning the second quarter 22-16 to cut Latvia’s lead 41-40 at the half.

It was a close game for the most part, Latvia shot 47.8 percent from behind the arc compared to just 31.6 from France that kept the Latvian’s in the game.

In the third period, France relied on top players to take the quarter 23-18 and held a 63-59 margin heading into the final period.

In the final quarter, France just proved too much for Latvia to handle, as Team France claimed the 89-78 victory.

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Parker, France routed Belgium as team prepare for EuroBasket

In another warm-up game before the 2011 EuroBasket, the French national team played against Belgium in Lievin.

Team France opened the game with 28-6 run and never looked back.

Belgium however played better in the second quarter, outscoring France 13-7 to cut the deficit 35-19 at the halftime.

In the third period, France took control of the game, the Frenchmen produced a 26-12 advantage in the quarter and entered the final period with a 30 point lead 61-31.

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