At the Basketball World Cup in Manila, the U.S. fumbled and lost a second-round group win against Lithuania.
It’s not his fault: Anthony Edwards shined with 35 points.
There have already been one or two surprises at the World Cup, but now the Lithuanians have caused a stir. The Balts brought top-ranked America to its knees. Head coach Steve Kerr’s team lost 104:110 (37:54) against co-favorite Lithuania in Manila on Sunday, and therefore remains in second place in the group.
The best shooter of the Olympic champion was Anthony Edwards with 35 points, but it was not enough against the highly motivated Lithuanians, who shone with excellent team basketball, especially in the first half. Vaitas Kariniaskas had 14 and Jonas Valanciunas had twelve points to top the basketball-crazy Paltz team.
Lithuania got off to a great start, leading 31:12 (!) after the first quarter, and the USA gave up more than 50 points before halftime – a shame on defense. But then the favorite rose up, rebelled, but ultimately could not turn the tide against a smarter opponent. Especially in the closing stages, the Lithuanians showed cool heads and strong nerves at the free throw line.
It was the Americans’ first defeat of the summer; The US had previously won nine games in a row. A 99:91 win over the German team in Abu Dhabi.
The DBB giants can now meet “Team USA” in the semifinals, but to do so the Americans must defeat Italy and Germany has the upper hand against tournament surprise Latvia. Meanwhile, Lithuania will face Serbia in the last 8 round of the European Basketball Classic series.
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