Tony Parker excelled, but it was the electric Nando De Colo who fired France to victory in their opening EuroBasket qualifying game on Wednesday against Belgium.
De Colo scored 15 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter to propel Les Bleus to an 82-63 home triumph in Group C.
Parker, the NBA superstar of the San Antonio Spurs, wasn't expected to play this summer but he joined the team late in their preparations to give the players an emotional lift and make coach Michel Gomez's group much better on the court.
His three-pointer with just one second to go at the end of the first half gave the French a 34-33 advantage.
The basket also gave Parker 10 points at half-time.
De Colo then did his best impression of a lightning strike at the start of the third quarter by nailing a three for a 37-33 lead.
The shot ignited a 12-3 run for the French and left them in control for good.
De Colo, the Cholet star who played at the EuroCup All-Star Game last season in Cyprus, razzled and dazzled his way through the Belgian defense.
He didn't miss a shot all night, making all nine of his attempts from the field including four long ones.
De Colo also sank all six of his free throws.
Parker finished with 19 points, and Denver Nugget Yakhouba Diawara scored eight. Diawara excelled in the second quarter when some of the game's toughest battles were being waged.
Ronny Turiaf gave the French a lift with 11 points and four rebounds.
Sam Van Rossom scored 17 to lead Belgium. He made three of four from behind the arc.
France out-rebounded Belgium 36-23.