Parker bruised in France’s win

By Nesha Starcevic
Associated Press

SIAULIAI, Lithuania — Despite playing for stretches without Tony Parker, France rallied with a big fourth quarter to beat Italy 91-84 Sunday night to advance to the second round of the European basketball championship.

The Spurs guard was kneed in the left thigh by Andrea Bargnani on the second play of the game, struggled through the first half and part of the third quarter before leaving the game for good.

“I am going to have treatment on it tonight and see if I can play (Monday against Serbia),” Parker said. “The doctor said I should not take a risk in the fourth quarter.”

Italy fell to 1-3 despite leading by seven at the end of the third quarter. But France outscored Italy 31-17 in the fourth, with Boris Diaw of the Charlotte Bobcats getting 21 points.

Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers added 20. France got 28 of its points from bench players.

In another game, Juan Carlos Navarro scored 22 points and defending champion Spain swept aside host Lithuania 91-79, an outcome that allowed Serbia and Germany to advance to the second round even before their later match.

Russia and Slovenia also advanced — the top three teams from each of the four groups do so.

Serbia, which lost in the final to Spain two years ago, joined France with a perfect 4-0 record in Group B by overcoming 25 points from Dirk Nowitzki to beat Germany 75-64. Germany is 2-2.

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