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Mon 22 July 2024

Lithuania dominates Team USA as QF pairings are set

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TCL Player of the game Jonas Valanciunas and Viadas Kariniauskas led the Lithuanian’s to a 104-110 victory over the US Basketball team at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Sunday night in Manila. The very focused Lithuanian side showed early on fluidity on the offensive side and left their shooters wide open to knock down quite a handful of three-pointers as they led the Americans, 12-31 at the end of the opening quarter.

Team USA started the second quarter with a 7-2 run but the European side were able to stave off the run with their consistent three-point shooting, as they ended the first-half shooting 75% from downtown while Team USA only shot 30%. Another key note was that Lithuania out-rebounded Team USA 15-26 in the first half as well, which gave a 37-54 lead in favor of Lithuania at the break.

The second half was much better for Team USA as Anthony Edwards who scored 35 points, 2 assists and 3 steals found support in Mikal Bridges (14), Jalen Brunson (14) and Brandon Ingram (10) as they were able to outscore Lithuania and cut the deficit to 65-71 at the end of the third. The 35-points of Anthony Edwards ties Carmelo Anthony’s (2006) second-best American individual scoring performance in a World Cup game, only being bested by Kevin Durant’s 38 in 2010 vs Lithuania.

But it was the same story in the fourth quarter as Lithuania played patient basketball and knocked down their shots every time the US tried to make a run. The chants and cheers of the fans supporting the green and yellow were consistently heard all-night which played a big factor for Team Lithuania.

With this win, Lithuania plays Serbia Tuesday afternoon, while Team USA, on the other hand, is paired with Italy in the evening; then Wednesday, Germany faces off with Canada, and Latvia will challenge Luka Doncic’s Slovenia as the 2023 FIBA World Cup reaches the Quarterfinal stage.

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