After losing against Tiago Splitter and Team Brazil on their debut at the FIBA Americas Championship, San Antonio Spurs’ Cory Joseph and Team Canada bounced back in a big way defeating the Dominican Republic in a nip-and-tuck affair.
The Canadians took the opening quarter 19-16 while the Dominican Republic won the second period 14-11 to tie the game 30-30 at the half.
Sparked by their sharp outside shooting, Canada tried to pull away in the third quarter outscoring the Dominican Republic 21-14 in period to take a 51-44 lead going into the final quarter.
However, the Dominican Republic turned on their defense in the fourth period and tried to make a comeback surge to steal the game.
The Canadians seemed to crumble into pressure but Joseph made a critical inbound pass for Team Canada with four seconds left and his team clinging to a two-point lead, 71-69.
Joseph got off the pass in time to Miami Heat center Joel Anthony, who made both free throws extending Canada’s lead 73-69 that eventually sealed the win.
Sacramento Kings’ Francisco Garcia hit a buzzer-beating 3-point basket to make the final score 73-72.
Andy Rautins led Canada with 15 points, Carl English had 12, while Joseph had six points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals and committed just one turnover in 22 minutes of action.
Jack Martinez had a big game for the Dominican Republic scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 boards, Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Garcia added 12 points.
Joseph and Team Canada will go up against Cuba at 11:30 (GMT -3) in Mar del Plata on Friday.