A pair of big men from the San Antonio Spurs’ 2014 championship squad faced off Sunday in FIBA exhibition play, as Aron Baynes and Australia held off Boris Diaw and France 76-74 in Antibes, France.
Baynes once again led the Australians in scoring with 21 points, while he also grabbed nine rebounds, dished two assists, and tallied one steal in 24 minutes. In his second game since rejoining the French National team in gameplay, Diaw scored 14 points, grabbed one rebound, threw one assist, collected two steals and one block in 30 minutes of play.
France came out with an early 22-16 first quarter lead, but the Australians would close the gap by half, as France narrowly led 36-34. France controlled the third quarter with a 22-17 edge, but it was in the fourth quarter, where the Australian’s would make their move to take control of the game, as they outscored France 25-16 in the fourth quarter, as Baynes was one member who knocked down some clutch free throws in the final seconds of the game.
Before the game even tipped off, Diaw and Baynes posed for a photo together with the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum led France in scoring with 24 points and six rebounds, while Utah Jazz rookie Dante Exum scored two points and threw two assists in close to 15 minutes off the bench. Former Spur Ian Mahinmi (current Indiana Pacer) scored four points and grabbed four rebounds for France.
Diaw and France will have a week off before facing Baynes and Australia next Sunday in Strasbourg, France.