Lithuania suffered yet another loss in the friendly game marathon leading up to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela, losing 68-77 (19-18, 18-17, 13-21, 18-21) to Russia in Houston on Wednesday night.
The team has been struggling quite badly this summer, having lost the first two games against Macedonia and Greece before sneaking away with a victory against Great Britain, despite a still rather poor performance.
The game against Russia started off promisingly for Lithuania, who took a 33-25 with the first half coming to the end. However, the Russians managed to get back within two points after a 10-4 run to end the second quarter.
Russia stepped up the defensive pressure in the second half, beginning the third quarter with a 15-5 run, which allowed them to take a lead at 50-42. Their lead had increased to 16 points, but Lithuania went on a 6-0 run to erase the deficit to 10 points.
However, sloppy execution and silly turnovers didn’t allow the Lithuanians to challenge Russia more seriously, as the team never got back to serious contention, only managing to chip down the disadvantage to nine points.
Linas Kleiza and Jonas Valanciunas led Lithuania with 12 points each, with the latter also adding eight rebounds, Jonas Maciulis and Rimantas Kaukenas both added 11 points, while Robertas Javtokas and Tomas Delininkaitis chipped in with 6 points each.
For Russia, Aleksandr Kaun had a game-high 21 points, Andrei Kirilenko was as-always efficient, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Timofey Mozgov and Sergey Monia finished the game with 10 points each.