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23/08/2010

VILLEURBANNE (2010 FIBA World Championship) - Australia downed Brazil and France hammered the Ivory Coast at the Villeurbanne International Tournament on Sunday.

In 2010 FIBA World Championship warm-up clashes for all four teams, the Aussies got 15 points from Pat Mills, 14 from Joe Ingles and 10 apiece from David Andersen and Matt Nielsen in a 72-69 win over the Brazilians.

“I thought the last five minutes we played excellent team defense, and we needed to against a team with three NBA players like Brazil,” said Australia coach Brett Brown.

Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao and new San Antonio Spurs signing Tiago Splitter were in the Brazil line-up, though it was Splitter's former Caja Laboral teammate Marcelo Huertas who led the way with a game-high 17 points.

Brown is an assistant coach with the Spurs and will work with Splitter on a daily basis next season.

“The game started very physical and we fatigued early after the long flight,” Brown said.

“But we got our second wind and legs back and our entire team deserves credit."

The decisive surge for Australia came midway through the fourth quarter when they went on a 12-3 run to claim a 61-52 lead.

They remained on top the rest of the way, with Andersen particularly effective for the Boomers.

“I was really pleased that we played everybody, and everybody contributed.

"The group showed fantastic team spirit and the camaraderie was exceptional. We executed well down the stretch to close the game out."

Brazil, who decided to leave another NBA player off their roster over the weekend when dropping injured Denver Nuggets big man Nene, will play against the United States, Croatia, Slovenia, Iran and Tunisia in Group B.

The Brazilians will welcome center Joao Paulo Batista into the squad on Monday.

In Sunday's other game, France, who are getting ready for Group D action against Spain, Lithuania, Lebanon, New Zealand and Canada, dominated against the Ivory Coast.

Les Bleus had a 63-43 stranglehold on proceedings by the end of the third quarter before settling for a 74-66 triumph.

Nicolas Batum finished with 16 points and Ali Traore 14.

The Ivory Coast, silver medalists at last year's Afrobasket, will be the underdogs in Group C against Turkey, Greece, Puerto Rico, Russia and China.

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