Toronto Raptors point guard Cory Joseph led Canada to a 77-69 win over Turkey on the opening day of the FIBA Olympic basketball qualifying tournament.
Joseph led the Canadian attack Tuesday with 21 points, five assists and three rebounds.
The No. 8-ranked Turks pulled within five late in the second quarter but Joseph and Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers quashed the momentum as 26th-ranked Canada entered halftime with a 39-30 lead.
Canada outshot Turkey from the floor, hitting 42 per cent of field-goal attempts and 37 per cent from three-point territory. The Canadians also posted a stellar 83 per cent rating from the free-throw line.
"Obviously they're a very good basketball nation and it was a hard fought win," said Canadian coach Jay Triano.
Thompson and Phil Scrubb each scored 10 points for Canada while Sinan Guler led Turkey with 14 points.
"It was a good win, we fought hard," said Joseph. "We still have a lot to work on, but ultimately we got the job done, we've just got to keep on continuing to build throughout the tournament and try to get to our end goal."
A win over Senegal on Wednesday will secure Canada a spot in the semifinals.
"Bottom line is it was a win and it helps us with what our goal is, so we've got to turn around, play again tomorrow, and we have to keep getting better," said Triano.
The top two teams from each group in the preliminary round will move on to the semifinal crossover games. Those teams will then compete in the finals, with the champion qualifying for Rio. France, New Zealand and the Philippines make up Group B.
France rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat the Philippines 93-84 on Tuesday.