France beats defending champ Spain

Updated: August 28, 2010, 7:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

IZMIR, Turkey -- Mickael Gelabale scored 16 points and France was nearly perfect at the free throw late in its 72-66 victory over defending champion Spain on Saturday at the world championship.

France (1-0) made 10 of its last 12 free throws to seal the win in the opening game for both teams.

Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain (0-1) with 17 points.

[+] EnlargeMarc Gasol
FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty ImagesBoris Diaw blocks the shot attempt of Spain's Marc Gasol to help France open the world championships with a win over the defending champions.

Spain built a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, but France used a 9-0 run to tie the game at 25 and it was close the rest of the way.

Spain, which won the title in Japan in 2006, is playing without Pau Gasol, a member of the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Greece 89, China 81

ANKARA, Turkey -- Nikolaos Zisis and Ioannis Bourousis both scored 21 points to lead Greece to a win over China in the opening Group C game at the 2010 FIBA world basketball championship Saturday.

Greece (1-0) led 47-37 at halftime, but China, playing without Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is recovering from surgery on his left foot, got within 81-79 before Greece retook control in the final minutes.

Yi Jianlian of the Washington Wizards had 26 points to lead China (0-1).

Greece played without Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, both of whom were suspended earlier this week by FIBA for their part in last week's brawl in an exhibition game against Serbia. Both also will miss Greece's game Sunday against Puerto Rico.

Australia 76, Jordan 75

David Andersen had 22 points, including two late free throws, as Australia beat a surprising Jordan team in Kayseri.

Center Alex Maric had 23 points and nine rebounds for Australia (1-0), which didn't take its first lead until Maric's rebound basket made it 56-55 at the end of the third quarter.

Zaid Abbas had 20 points for Jordan (0-1). Rasheim Wright added 16 points but he missed a layup in the final seconds and Australia got the rebound and held on for the win.

"We were very lucky to escape with a win," Australia coach Brett Brown said. "We recognize we were fortunate to claw back and snatch a win."

Jordan, which led by as many as 11 points, did not practice or play a game for eight months after the country's Olympic committee suspended the basketball federation for "administrative and financial violations." The team did not get together again until shortly before the worlds.

"It was a disaster," Jordan coach Mario Palma said. "We are trying to recover from this disaster, but we are not in the shape we are supposed to be. Most of my players have not played an official game for eight months."

Argentina 78, Germany 74

Carlos Delfino made three free throws in the last 10 seconds to secure Argentina victory in Kayseri. Delfino, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, finished with 27 points and Luis Scola, who plays for the Houston Rockets, added 20.

Demond Greene had 20 points for Germany.

Delfino and Scola combined for 20 points in the third quarter as Argentina opened an 11-point lead. Germany kept chipping away at the lead and tied the game at 73-all with 1:30 left.

Scola made one of two free throws and Delfino missed only one of four to clinch the victory.

Russia 75, Puerto Rico 66

Sergey Monya scored 16 points to lead a balanced attack for Russia in Ankara. Timofey Mozgov, a 7-foot-1 center who signed with the New York Knicks this offseason, and Sasha Kaun each added 13 points for Russia (1-0). Anton Ponkrashov had 10 points and 11 assists.

Jose Juan Barea of the Dallas Mavericks scored 25 points for Puerto Rico.

Brazil 81, Iran 65

[+] EnlargeRaul Togni Neto
Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty ImagesBrazil's Raul Togni Neto leans in on Iran's Saman Veisi in a Group B game, which Brazil won handily, 81-65.

Guilherme Giovannoni scored 17 points, and Tiago Splitter and Leandro Barbosa added 13 apiece for Brazil in Istanbul.

Marcelo Huertas added 10 points for Brazil, which was without Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao. He injured an ankle during exhibition action and isn't expected to play until the Brazilians face the United States on Monday.

Center Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies scored 16 points for Iran, the Asia champion making their debut in the worlds.

Slovenia 80, Tunisia 56

Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns had 16 points and eight assists to lead Slovenia in Istanbul.

Gasper Vidmar added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Bostjan Nachbar finished with 14 points for Slovenia (1-0), which faces Group B favorite the United States on Sunday.

Dragic, Steve Nash's backup with the Suns, helped Slovenia start quickly. The Slovenians shot 9 for 13 in the first quarter in front of a large crowd of fans wearing green Slovenia shirts.

Tunisia (0-1), making its first appearance in the world championships, shot 34 percent and placed only one player in double figures, Radhouane Slimane with 11 points.

Lithuania 92, New Zealand 79

Linas Kleiza scored 27 points and Paulius Jankunas added 15 in Lithuania 's win in Izmir.

Lithuania (1-0) used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take a 33-24 lead.

New Zealand (0-1) scored just two points in the first seven minutes of the second quarter. Kleiza had nine straight points, most of them in the paint, the last two coming on free throws with 3:12 left.

Turkey 86, Ivory Coast 47

Omer Onan scored 18 points to lead Turkey, opening the game by hitting consecutive 3-pointers.

Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks added 17 points for the hosts, while Hedo Turkoglu of the Phoenix Suns had a sluggish performance and finished with six points.

Jonathan Kale had 10 points for Ivory Coast (0-1).

Lebanon 81, Canada 71

Fadi El Khatib, known to his countrymen as "The Tiger," scored 31 points and Rony Fahed added 17 for Lebanon in Izmir. The 6-foot-6 El Khatib was 5 of 5 from the field and scored 16 points in the third quarter for Lebanon, which is making its third appearance in the world championships.

Matt Freije, a former All-Southeastern Conference player at Vanderbilt, hit a 3-pointer that gave Lebanon the lead for good at 66-64 with 4:58 to play.

Lebanon had 21 more free throw attempts than Canada (0-1), which hadn't qualified for a world championship or Olympics since 2002.

Joel Anthony had 17 points for Canada.

Serbia 94, Angola 44

Aleksandar Rasic scored 22 points as Serbia routed Angola despite playing without two of its best players. Center Nenad Krstic was suspended for three games by FIBA and guard Milos Teodosic was suspended for two for their roles in a brawl against Greece in a warmup tournament earlier this month.

Olimpio Cipriano led Angola (0-1) with 10 points.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.