Despite being bloodied and beaten, Canada emerged from its game with the United States with its pride intact.
"Nothing to be ashamed of," Canada's Steve Nash said today after a 94-60 loss to the Americans in the Olympic qualifying tournament. "Teams can get beat by 50 very easily. We played hard and kept them under 100 points, which was kind of a nice goal for us."
The outcome of this game was never in doubt, but Canada, after falling behind 24-4 in the first 6 1/2 minutes, nearly got its deficit back to single digits before watching the United States pull away early in the second half.
Gary Payton led the Americans in scoring for the second straight game with 20 points, Tim Duncan added 18, Kevin Garnett had 15 and Jason Kidd handed out 11 assists.
The Americans were held under 100 points for only the sixth time in 32 games with NBA players, and the final total of 94 was the Americans' second-lowest in that span.
Late in the first half Tom Gugliotta and Canadian center Peter Guarasci engaged in some pushing and shoving after a foul by Gugliotta opened a gaping cut on Guarasci's forehead. The cut bled heavily, and the visibly angered Guarasci had to leave the game. He returned in the second half with six stitches in his forehead.
"I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot," said Guarasci. Gugliotta apologized after the game.
In earlier games, Argentina (1-1) defeated Cuba 81-76, virtually ensuring that Cuba (0-3) will be eliminated from Group A. Puerto Rico (2-0) beat Brazil (1-2), 97-88, and Venezuela (2-1) defeated Panama (0-2), 76-72.