2023 FIBA World Cup: SGA’s strong second half leads Canada to 101-75 win over Latvia

Behind a dominant third quarter, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Canada to a 101-75 win over Latvia to wrap up group play with a perfect 3-0 record and first place in Group H.

As Oklahoma City Thunder fans know, the third quarter is Gilgeous-Alexander’s money quarter — and that continues to be the case in international play.

The 25-year-old expanded Canada’s one-point halftime lead as he scored 14 of their 24 third-quarter points. He almost single-handily outscored Latvia’s 15 third-quarter points.

In 31 minutes, Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, six assists and six rebounds. He went 2-of-7 from 3 and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Gilgeous-Alexander did most of his damage in the second half, where he scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He continues to be arguably the best player in the entire FIBA World Cup.

A slow start saw Latvia jump Canada to a 23-13 lead following the first quarter. But the talent discrepancy and icy outside shooting helped Canada outscore Latvia in the middle quarters, 54-34. Canada used a 34-18 fourth-quarter score to inflate the final margin after a competitive first half.

On the flip side, Davis Bertans struggled to get into a rhythm. The Latvian forward finished with seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, five rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. He went 1-of-7 from 3.

After a shocking win against France, Latvia settles for a 2-1 record in group play. The 3-point magic disappeared against Canada as it shot 10-of-36 (27.7%) from outside.

Lu Dort did not play for Canada. He missed their previous game dealing with soreness.

Let’s look at instant reactions and highlights from Canada’s 26-point win as they prepare for the second round.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire