Kevin Durant’s 38-point effort carried the Olympic champions to an 89-74 (23-12, 19-15, 23-26, 24-21) win over the small Baltic side.
- You can check out the moments from the game in our photo gallery.
The pre-game underdogs Lithuania started the game brightly and held an early 11-9 lead when Kevin Durant inspired a 12-0 USA run that allowed the Americans to escape into a double-digit lead at 21-11.
Lithuanians struggled to create anything offensively as Andre Iguodala had shut down Linas Kleiza completely and only Martynas Pocius’ effort kept the game relatively close. The Baltic team got within seven points at 23-31, but couldn’t hold such a close gap for long as team USA raced to a 15-point lead before halftime.
Halfway through the third quarter USA had a 59-40 lead and when everything seemed to be over, Tomas Delininkaitis and Martynas Gecevicius stepped up to cut the deficit to 12 points after a 13-6 stretch for the Lithuanians.
The fourth quarter had more intensity than the score could suggest, Lithuania left the Americans back-pedaling before a 14-5 run from team USA to seal the deserved victory in the end.
Lithuania: Robertas Javtokas 15 (9 rebounds), Martynas
Pocius 13 (7 rebounds), Mantas Kalnietis 10, Jonas Maciulis 9, Tomas Delininkaitis
8, Martynas Gecevicius 6, Simas Jasaitis 5, Linas Kleiza and Paulius Jankunas 4
USA: Kevin Durant 38 (9 rebounds), Lamar Odom 13 (10 rebounds), Russell Westbrook 12, Andre Iguodala 9.
Kestutis Kemzura (head coach of Lithuania): “The Americans played a great game, played well on defense and deserved the victory. To be fair, we were not even given a chance to win this game. They controlled the game right from the beginning, we had managed to close the gap on several occasions but couldn’t get close enough. We tried changing defensive systems which worked in our favor, but we just couldn’t get the boards. We had to play out a perfect game to give ourselves a chance to beat team USA. We didn’t today. They played terrific defense on our leader Linas Kleiza when we couldn’t stop Kevin Durant at all.”