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Houston Rockets Francisco Garcia pours in 29 points as Dominican Republic wins

NBA veteran Francisco Garcia scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Dominica Republic to a 73-63 victory over New Zealand in day two of the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 31.

Garcia was 11-of 15 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. He added six rebounds two assists, 1 steal and two blocked shots. Jack Martinez was the only other Dominican in double figures, contributing 12 points and six rebounds. Eulis Baez had a team-high nine rebounds and Juan Coronado contributed five points, four rebounds and four assists.

The game was pretty even for much of the game. New Zealand took an early 7-4 lead on a jumper by 2013 NBA summer leaguer Thomas Abercombrie. Abercrombie pushed the Tall Blacks lead to 14-8 with a pair of free throws with 3:14 to go in the period. But the Dominicans scored six of the next eight points to trim New Zealand’s lead to 16-14 after one quarter.

The Dominican Republic, sparked by Garcia’s two early baskets in the quarter, opened the second period on a 11-0 run to take a 25-16 lead. Former University of Wisconsin basketball player Kirk Penney ended New Zealand’s scoreless drought with a triple at the 6:11 mark (25-19). New Zealand cut the deficit to four on a Mika Vukona tip-in but Garcia immediately answered with a three-pointer to put the Dominicans up 32-25 with 2:44 to go in the half. The Dominican Republic took a 34-27 lead into the break.

James Feldeine, who tallied nine points, made a layup and Garcia hit another three-pointer to get the Dominicans off to a good start in the third quarter (39-27). But back came the Tall Blacks on a three-pointer by Abercrombie. The two sides then traded baskets to make it 43-34 at the 6:10 mark.

Abercrombie, who was 5-of-6 from the line, made a couple a free throws to cut New Zealand’s deficit to 51-48 with 48 seconds to go in the quarter. Hawaii junior forward Issac Fotu made a layup to get the Tall Blacks within one but missed the subsequent free throw. The Dominicans led 51-50 after 30 minutes of action.

Cornado opened up the fourth quarter scoring with a three-pointer on an assist by Feldeine but Cory Webster knotted things up at 54-54 with four straight points. Following a three-point play by Vukona to bring the score to 63-58, Garcia hit another triple to put the game out of reach.

Abercrombie led the way for New Zealand with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds and two blocked shots. Penney finished the game with 16 points and Vukona contributed 11.

The Dominican Republic improves to 1-1 and will play Finland (1-1) on Sept. 2 New Zealand (0-2) will also play on Tuesday but against the heavy weight USA (1-0).