San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker appears to be in midseason form as he poured in 32 points and dished out six assists in leading France to an impressive 76-65 victory over Dirk Nowitzki and Germany in pool play of the 2011 European Championships in Lithuania.
Parker made 11 of 20 shots from the field in 32 minutes, including both of his 3-point attempts. He also converted eight of nine free throws and grabbed four rebounds from his point guard position. Nowitzki led the way for Germany with 20 points.
France improved to 3-0 in Group B, while Germany fell to 2-1. France also defeated Germany in EuroBasket 2009.
Parker, who endured a disappointing first-round exit in the NBA playoffs last spring, currently leads the tournament in scoring with a 28.0 average and is making 59% of his field goals. He is also averaging a tournament-best 7.0 assists per game. Parker was rumored to be on the trading block last season, but if he can stay healthy and play at a high level, it will be very difficult for San Antonio to get rid of him.
The 2007 NBA Finals MVP had some help on the offensive end, as Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah contributed eight points and seven rebounds. France also boasts Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats) and Mickael Gelabale (formerly of the Seattle Sonics but now plays in Belgium), making this year’s French squad a serious contender for the EuroBasket title. The top two teams receive an automatic berth to the 2012 London Olympics.
Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman, arguably Germany’s second-best player, struggled from the field in his much anticipated matchup in the middle against Noah. Kaman made just four of nine shots and netted eight points.