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FIBA Basketball World Cup

Nick Nurse on Team Canada's loss to Nigeria: 'I saw a lot of good things from our team'

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Canada Basketball (Canada Basketball on Twitter)

Team Canada head coach Nick Nurse was positive following the team's loss to Nigeria on Friday night.

"I saw a lot of good things from our team," Nurse said. "Give Nigeria credit, they bounced back from the defeat the other night and played a little bit better and a little bit harder and made more shots."

It was the second matchup between the two teams in three days. Team Canada took the first one, winning by a final score of 96-87. Khem Birch and Kyle Wiltjer led the way with 14 points each, followed by Brady Heslip (12), Melvin Ejim (11) and Kelly Olynyk (11).

Without Olynyk, who was sidelined with a knee injury, Canada struggled offensively in the second matchup. Phil Scrubb and Cory Joseph were the team's only players to score in double figures, resulting in 81 points on 28-for-76 shooting from the field.

Nigeria had far more success, scoring 90 points on 33-for-65 shooting, including 12-for-24 from the 3-point line.

Nurse, however, was generally happy with the looks Canada got in the game.

"Sometimes it's really simple in this game," he said. "I thought they hit a lot of tough threes where we were really chasing them and they turned and made it. Give them credit for that.

"I thought on our end we had even better looks than they were hitting and we didn't hit some and sometimes it's just [as simple as] the ball goes in, and sometimes it doesn't."

Canada will now travel to Australia for five exhibition games against Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The team will then compete in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Canada is in Group H with Senegal, Lithuania and Australia.

Despite a bruised knee, Olynyk is still expected to play in the World Cup, Nurse announced on Thursday.

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