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Wiggins scores 18 points as Canada beats Argentina in FIBA Americas tune up


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico _ Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points as Canada’s men’s national team opened the 2015 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup with a 85-80 victory over Argentina.

Wiggins went 6 for 13 from the field with a pair of threes in his senior team debut while Anthony Bennett, of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, added 10 points and 13 rebounds.

“I thought it was a good, hard-fought game,” said Wiggins, who also plays for the Timberwolves. “It was physical, both teams played well. We’ve got a new group of guys so we’re still coming together. You can see that we’re getting more fluid with what we do.”

Toronto Raptors forward Luis Scola led Argentina with 23 points.

Canada jumped out to a 30-23 lead after the first quarter and led 45-37 at the half.

The Canadians pushed their advantage to as many as 15 points in the third quarter before Argentina started to heat up. The Argentines were able to rally and tie the game late in the fourth before Wiggins played the role of closer, hitting a baseline jump-shot with 26 seconds left. Dwight Powell, of the Dallas Mavericks, sealed the win with two free throws in the final seconds.

“That was a very good first game for us. Argentina is a good basketball team, they stayed right with us,” said Canada’s head coach Jay Triano. “For a lot of our players, it’s the first time on the senior national team and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Canada will face Brazil on Monday. The Tuto Marchand Continental Cup is a warm-up event for the FIBA Americas Championship, which begins Aug. 31 in Mexico City.

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