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FIBA Americas Gets Underway, AfroBasket Ends

A few bits and bobs for your Tuesday.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Afrobasket tournament ended in disappointment for Gorgui Dieng and Senegal as they lost to eventual champions Nigeria in overtime in the semifinals, then dropped the 3rd place game to host Tunisia on Sunday. Gorgui Dieng was the dominant player in the tournament, but struggled to shoot the ball against Nigeria, though he did make a game tying three pointer late to send the game to overtime.

He wound up leading the competition in scoring (23 per game), rebounding (15) and player efficiency ranking (30.3) by a wide margin, and was the focal point of the Senegalese attack. Hopefully his stellar performance will engender renewed confidence as he heads into his third year with the Wolves.

The 4th place finish means Senegal will compete next summer for a wildcard spot in the Olympics.

The Lynx have four games remaining in the regular season, and after losing four of five, they won a key game against the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday. The win gives them a three game lead on 2nd place Phoenix in the Western Conference, all but cementing home court advantage throughout the Western playoffs.

Still, there have been some unexpected stumbles this season, and the Lynx have not been playing their best basketball recently. Sylvia Fowles has added a dimension in the post, but Seimone Augustus is once again out of the lineup, and Maya Moore, while still a top player, is not performing at her MVP level of last season.

The Lynx have home games this Friday and Sunday against Indiana and league leading New York respectively, before closing out the season with a home and road set with Seattle.

The FIBA Americas tournament started yesterday, and of most interest to Wolves fans, Team Canada gets underway today at 2:30 pm CDT when they face off against Argentina, who won their opening game yesterday against Puerto Rico behind a big game from Luis Scola. This should be a real challenge off the bat for the Canadians.

The game (and all games in the tournament) will stream on ESPN3.

Today in History

1267: Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman establishes Jewish community in Jerusalem. Mrs. Mandelbaum was heard to complain about the price of a kosher chicken soon after. 
1535: Jacques Cartier reaches site of present day Montreal
1715: King Louis XIV dies, ending 72 year reign.
1849: California Constitutional Convention at Monterrey
1859: First Pullman sleeping car enters service
1916: Owen-Keating Act concerning child labor in interstate commerce
1939: Hitler orders extermination of the mentally ill. 
1939: Germany invades Poland, signaling start of WWII
1942: Federal judge upholds detention of Japanese-Americans
1945: Japan surrenders to the U.S., ending WWII
1969: Muammar Gaddafi deposes king of Libya 
1972: Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky for World chess title

Today's musical birthday is Johann Pachelbel, famous for his Canon, born in 1653 (d. 1706).

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