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The Globe and Mail

Canada tops Mexico 89-67 at the FIBA Americas

Canada's Cory Joseph,left, looks to pass under pressure from Mexico's Jorge Gutierrez during a FIBA World Cup qualifying basketball game in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.

Juan Carlos Solorzano/AP

Despite a 22-point victory on Thursday, Canadian men's basketball coach Jay Triano was most impressed with his team's defence when the game was on the line.

Brady Heslip scored 21 points off the bench as Canada defeated Mexico 89-67 at the FIBA Americas Championship basketball tournament.

The guard from Baylor University was 5-of-8 from three-point range as Canada improved to 3-1.

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Canada saw a 12-point lead cut to just 60-58 at the start of the fourth quarter after being outscored 27-20 in the third.

But Canada found its range and also shut down a Mexican team that was playing with a short bench.

Watch: Highlights of Canada's win over Mexico at the FIBA Americas

"In the fourth quarter, when we started making shots, the thing that we were impressed with most was that we scored 29 points ... but they only had nine," Triano said. "I thought our defensive effort in the fourth quarter was outstanding."

Cory Joseph of the San Antonio Spurs added 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Canadians, who will take on the hosts from Venezuela on Friday.

Andy Rautins also had a big day for Canada, chipping in with 19 points, including 4-of-6 on three-point attempts.

Gustavo Ayon had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Mexico (2-2).

The FIBA Americas Championship is a qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

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