Lu Dort scored a team-high 13 points but it was not enough as Canada fell 94-88 to the Dominican Republic in its final tune-up game for the FIBA World Cup on Friday.
Trae Bell-Haynes added 12 points off the bench, while RJ Barrett and Dillon Brooks each had 10 for Canada.
Head coach Jordi Fernandez limited his starters’ playing time, to give his reserves more opportunities to jell as a team.
“It was a game to make sure that we gave minutes to everyone,” Fernandez said. “We had to be smart with our minutes, especially with the first group after playing an overtime game in a back-to-back.
“Obviously it’s not very realistic, because there’s not going to be back-to-backs in the tournament so we wanted to keep building physically, and obviously, to compete and I think we did.”
Dillon Brooks with 8 of Canada’s 33, as we hit the midway point of the second quarter in Granada 🤜<a href=” | <a href=” <a href=”https://t.co/28UzBcBW60″>pic.twitter.com/28UzBcBW60</a>
Canada was coming off an 85-80 overtime win over top-ranked Spain, the defending World Cup champion, on Thursday.
Karl-Anthony Towns and LJ Figeuroa led the way for the Dominican Republic with 20 points apiece.
The game was tight until midway through the fourth quarter when the Dominicans went on an 11-0 run after being up 69-68.
However, Canada pushed back.
After a Jean Montero three pushed the Dominican lead back to six with 28.3 seconds left, Bell-Haynes cut the lead back to three once more just four seconds later.
But a pair of free throws from Towns with 19 seconds remaining sealed it for the Dominicans.
Canada finished exhibition play with a 3-2 record. The games were scheduled to help the teams prepare for the World Cup, which begins Aug. 25.
‘I think we’re ready to go’
“I think we’re ready to go,” Fernandez said. “I think that we still have work to do and that’s to be expected. We don’t have experience in this kind of tournament as a group, and we’re young, but I trust the guys in the way that they’ve been working.
“I know we’re going to go there and fight every single game. All you can do is give yourselves a chance and right now, this group, I have no doubt in my mind we’ll accomplish what we’re going to do.”
The 15th-ranked Canadians are in Group H of the 32-team World Cup. They start the tournament on Aug. 25 against France, followed by Lebanon on Aug. 27 and Latvia on Aug. 29 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Canada needs a top-two finish among Americas teams to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.