Canada has found its footing at the Acropolis basketball tournament after a terrible start.
Guard Denham Brown of Toronto scored 22 points, including 17 in the first half, to lead Canada past Serbia 62-58 Wednesday in its second game at the warmup event for the FIBA World Championship in Turkey from Aug. 28 to Sep. 12.
The Canadians (1-1) were crushed 123-49 by host Greece on Tuesday, but with some jet-lag behind them, they recovered to play tenacious defence against Serbia (1-1).
"It was a good bounce back for our team," said head coach Leo Rautins. "We had our legs back and played with much more aggression. The results of that intensity showed on the defensive end.
"Denham gave us nice lift with his scoring, getting to the basket consistently and being aggressive."
Brown shot 9-of-17 from the field and added eight rebounds. Jevohn Shepherd of Toronto chipped in with eight points while Montrealer Joel Anthony of the Miami Heat had five points, two rebounds, two steals and three rebounds.
Canada led 34-27 at halftime and when play resumed, the Serbs scored only one basket in the first eight minutes. Canada used a 19-2 run during that time to take a 53-29 lead, its biggest of the match.
Serbia closed to 56-38 at the end of the period and made an all-out effort toward a comeback but came up short.
"We showed how tough we are, getting blown out yesterday and coming back to beat a strong Serbian team," said Brown. "We showed what our team is all about."
Later, guard Nick Calathes was one of five players for Greece (2-0) to score in double figures in a 96-72 victory over Slovenia (0-2).
Greece was looking for a more challenging game after its rout of Canada and got one from Slovenia, although for less than a quarter. Greece was up 27-19 at the end of the first period and dominated the second, building a 58-26 halftime edge.
Canada plays Slovenia and Greece faces Serbia as the tournament wraps up Thursday.
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