Tony Parker kicks EuroBasket into gear, grabbing hold of scoring record in group round

Tony Parker surpassed the record with a new total of 1,406 EuroBasket points on Monday as France continued a perfect start to the 2015 European championships.

France's Tony Parker reacts during the EuroBasket 2015 match against Poland on Monday night. Sebastien Nogier / EPA / September 7, 2015
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Tony Parker became the all-time leading scorer in European championship history by leading defending champion France to a 69-66 win over Poland on Monday.

Parker made France’s first basket to break the EuroBasket record and finished with a team-high 16 points, scoring his team’s final four points.

That gave the San Antonio Spurs guard a total of 1,046 points, 16 more than former Greece star Nikos Galis. Parker tied Galis’s total of 1,030 in France’s 81-54 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday.

Earlier, Matt Lojeski made a buzzer-beating tip-in to give Belgium an upset 76-74 victory over Lithuania, with Finland and Bosnia also winning.

Parker’s layup gave France a 67-62 lead and he then made two free throws down the stretch to help complete the victory.

France are now 3-0 in their home group in Montpellier, while Poland dropped their first game.

Adam Waczynski led all scorers with 18, while Nando de Colo had 12 points and eight rebounds for France, who forced Poland into 15 turnovers.

In the closest finish of the day, Mantas Kalnietis missed a three-point attempt for Lithuania with four seconds left on the clock and Sam van Rossom grabbed the rebound for Belgium. He ran down the court and attempted a one-arm floater that bounced off the rim, but Lojeski tipped it in. There was a long review of the play before the referees concluded that the basket counted.

“I looked at the clock and saw that there were 4, 5 seconds left,” Lojeski said. “I told Van Rossom to go, but I knew that because of the pace and the defenders it would not be easy to score. So I followed the action. Fortunately I could get my fingers to the ball.”

Lithuania had a 74-68 lead with just over two minutes left , but consecutive three-pointers from Jonathan Tabu and Axel Hervelle brought Belgium level.

Lithuania were the silver medalists behind France two years ago and are perennial medal contenders at EuroBasket. Belgium qualified for the European championships in 2011 after an absence of 18 years and lost all five of their games. They made the second round two years later.

In another upset, Petteri Koponen sank a jumper with three seconds remaining for Finland to beat Russia 81-79. And later, Bosnia surprised Israel 86-84 in overtime.

Lojeski led Belgium with 20 points, Tabu had 16 and Van Rossom finished with 13. Toronto Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas had 25 points and 12 rebounds for Lithuania.

Both Lithuania and Belgium are now 2-1 in Group D in Riga, Latvia. In the late group game there, Estonia beat winless Ukraine 78-71 for their first victory.

In Montpellier, Finland earned their first victory in three games, while Russia dropped to 0-3.

Vitaly Fridzon, who led Russia with 22 points, missed a last-gasp three-point attempt after Koponen’s final basket.

Koponen finished with 12 points, Sasu Salin had 16 and Erik Murphy, an American-born forward, led Finland with 19.

Andrey Vorontsevich had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Russia, once a strong team who have fallen on hard times. Russia won the 2007 European title and finished third in 2011, only to fall to 21st two years ago.

Elmedin Kikanovic made a lay-up at the buzzer to give Bosnia their overtime win over Israel in Group A.

D’Or Fischer had the opportunity to win it for Israel in regulation but he made only one of two free throws for a 75-72 lead. A long throw-in found Kikanovic, who nailed a three-pointer to send it to overtime.

Israel are now 2-1 and Bosnia are 1-2.

In Group D, Latvia beat the Czech Republic 72-65. Both teams are now 2-1.

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