Notes from LTU 104, ARG 85

ISTANBUL – I was writing my USA-Russia analysis during the first half of this game. And by the time I looked up, it was over.

Lithuania slowed down the Luis Scola express and caught fire offensively. They led by as many as 32 points before settling with a 104-85 victory over Argentina. Lithuania remains undefeated and advances to face the United States in the semifinals on Saturday, while Argentina will face Russia in the consolation round on Friday.

Lithuania had much more balance than they did on Tuesday, when Linas Kleiza dropped 30 points on China. Kleiza finished with 17 points on Saturday, one of seven Lithuanians in double-figures.

And in the first 20 minutes of this game, they simply couldn’t miss. Lithuania shot 19-for-32 from the field and 8-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half. They actually made their first eight attempts from downtown before Kleiza missed a pair to end the half.

Argentina, a much older team than their opponent, may have run out of gas after a thrilling win over Brazil just two nights earlier. They missed all nine of their attempts from 3-point range in the first half and finished 4-for-21 from beyond the arc.

Here’s the schedule for Saturday, with both games on ESPN Classic…

USA vs. Lithuania — 7 p.m. local, noon ET
Serbia vs. Turkey — 9:30 p.m. local, 2:30 p.m. ET

I’ll have a preview of the USA-Lithuania game on Friday. It’s a rematch of an exhibition game that the U.S. won 77-61 on Aug. 21. Lithuania beat the Americans up a little bit in that one, holding them to just seven points in the first quarter and taking a one-point lead into halftime.

The U.S. pulled away in the second half, but Lithuania looks like a much stronger team three weeks later. Rebounding will be a critical concern once again, as Lithuania has been the second best rebounding team in the tournament thus far.

***

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

92 Comments

  1. bong says:

    U.S Vs. Lithuania is fun to watch see what Kevin durat and derrick rose can do for the USA Team

  2. Dongz23 says:

    @ LAW064
    These stars were not yet good during 2006? C’mon the way they play today is just the same how they played last 2006. They were already beast during those times. They just dont know how to play together. Havent you heard the latest statement of coach K that he is more confident with his team right now than the previous Worlds because right now they are all young and coachable and they dont care whether they will play or be benched as long as the team will win.

  3. Paulius says:

    Lithuania is team which is based on startegy, only star- leader we got is Linas Kleiza( and vs argentina he wasnt even key factor to our win). USA should take this into account, that any player from our team can shine. Unlike usa, who’s leader kevin durant uses usa team just for his personal fame purposes.

    • Jake says:

      “Unlike usa, who’s leader kevin durant uses usa team just for his personal fame purposes.”

      You obviously no next to nothing about Kevin Durant AKA the Durantula. The guy plays for OKC and doesn’t care about headlines or scoring titles. All he does “…is win win win no matter what…” You’ll see tomorrow.

  4. shane says:

    I THINK EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THE GOD DAM SCORE IS NOW , WE GET THE POINT , MOVE ON !!!

  5. Simas says:

    Seems like the reporter haven’t actually seen the game :) Didn’t seem that Argentinians ran out of the gas, as their coach said, there are no excuses, Lithuanians defence made them miss their shots. But we’re happy that our American friends here and their Team has no interest in game analysis or any special preparation (this was many times confirmed by themselves) :) Lithunia doesn’t play their game, they play the game that suits the oponent worst, while Americans always play their game- we’ll see what happens :)

  6. PhiLz says:

    Worst tactics?..Lolz
    thats because your team cant handle USA..

  7. Ceslovas says:

    I hope Lithuania will beat USA in semifinal. Good luck Lithuania!

  8. FIBA 2010 CHAMP: U.S.A…..CONGRATULATIONS

  9. BRAGGADOCCIO says:

    I guess U.S. of A. will win this tournament….no question about that….hehehhehe no envy pls…..

  10. Dongz23 says:

    @ NO

    This tournament is nothing for USA bcoz ur top 8 players are not playing?
    Is it your first year in the earth?
    Havent you heard about Lebron James, Wade, Paul, D. Williams, Howard, Bosh, Anthony and the rest of the crew played for the USA at WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS and was defeated by Greece last 2006?
    Refresh your memory bro and try to accept the reality and possibility of things instead of dreaming on a one sided thinking.

    • Simas says:

      Who is Lebron James? Is that the guy who keeps loosing NBA play-offs? :)
      No one cares about “what would happen…”, USA will be the best if they earn it, no matter how many talenteg guys they could have- if they are too proud or too busy to fight for their country, then they are no better champions than me and you

    • Law064 says:

      @ Dongz23 That was 2006 this is 4 years later they would destroy any team from any country.. Kobe wasn’t on that roster was he?? The US had all up and coming stars that are really stars now in 06 they wasn’t as good as they are now. So quit dreaming. This US team is was undersized and not filled with the best talent but they will still take it Turkey is the only team I see giving them problems

  11. Kristina LT says:

    NO says:
    September 9, 2010 at 10:57 pm
    This tournament is a joke for the USA. Our top 8 players aren’t even playing because this tournament means nothing.

    Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Howard, Bosh, Deron Williams, CP3, Carmello………….

    Yes, thats true, this tournament means nothing for usa, because you’re gonna lose tomorrow:) I must say that we dont have our best team too:) Our team is youg, we don have Siskauskas, Macijauskas, Jasikevicius, Ilgauskas and other, but our energy will beat that arrogant usa team. Good luck LITHUANIA! even if you dont know where it is on the map :))

    • Jake says:

      I know where Lit. is on the map. It’s in NE Europe and borders Latvia and the Baltic Sea. And no I didn’t have to look that up.

  12. Šaras says:

    we are the champions, my friend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. gogel says:

    Team USA has definitely the best players in the tournament. However, they have the worst tactics you can see in basketball. NBA-style offense (i. e. give the ball to the superstar and let him play 1-on-1), NBA-style defense (i, e, no defense at all), passion for the game – not found… Durant will surely cause lots of trouble, but if LTU plays at the same level as they did against ARG, I really doubt if americans have any chance…

    • Jake says:

      So far “NBA style basketball” has led the US 1 loss since 2006 (including exhibition games). Yeah that’s right one. How has Lit. done since then.

      • gogel says:

        Well, I did say, ‘Team USA definitely has the best players in the tournament’, that is why they are in the semis. Had these athletic monsters used some more brain in the game, they would win against anyone by 30-40 pts. However, they don’t, and that is their weak spot which Brasil team has already clearly shown…
        By the way, congrats on knowing where Ltu’s on the map, you are indeed a genius!=)

  14. Rain says:

    USA will win against lithuania, but not by a huge margin. Everybody knows the formula how to beat USA: no turnovers from point-guard position equals no fast-brakes for USA. On half-court game USA teamwork is joke, it basically rides on one supper-talent (KD) and one old guy (Billups) to get it done. As was with Russians I fear that Lithuanian guards don’t have enough physique to withstand 40min american pressure and when Lithuanian point-guard play falls then comes easy fast-breaks for USA. Only team that will beat USA is Turkey, their defense movement is insane. Thus far Turkey has had to play their defense only for 20min and by the look of it they could keep it up for whole game.

  15. Elvis says:

    Great win! Let us wish to see the magnificant thriller in the final – LTU vs SRB!

  16. tasteless says:

    That joke about 9/11… tasteless and completely out of context. I am not american, and that day hurt the world. If you feel the need to say things like that, keep it to yourself, or dont post it on the internet where you can hide behind a fake name. As for the game, it should be an instant classic.

  17. Saulius(LTU) says:

    For those who talk too much about “TEAM B”. Please, be so kind to remember in 2006 team A lost against Greece in the Semis, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony. Other teams also deserve respect. So, please… :)

  18. son says:

    your A team, had a lot of troubles in 2008 olympic finals vs spain. Even that team is beatable, and this team right here, is just a good team, however there 3 more good teams left, turkey, lithuania and serbia. I would not even rank usa as the favorite, i would rank them 4 out of these teams. americans needs to stop being too much self pride.

  19. NO says:

    This tournament is a joke for the USA. Our top 8 players aren’t even playing because this tournament means nothing.

    Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Howard, Bosh, Deron Williams, CP3, Carmello………….

    • Mike says:

      The problem with Americans is that they are overconfident. We will win – because we are the best or we will loose and it will mean nothing – because it’s our B team. Do you know that you could form a full starting5 from Lithunian players that are not there? This is their B team as well. So stop using it as excuse. This is the BEST USA team of 2010, because it’s the only one. And if it looses or wins – its not because A or B… it’s because either they were not the best, or they were simply the best.

      • Halo says:

        Lol’d irl, Litho team isn’t using theyr main players aswell such as Jasikevicius, Siskauskas, Ilgauskas, Kaukenas, D. and K. Lavrinoviciai. Only Kleiza, Jasaitis and Javtokas are more experienced players in this years Lithos national team, so I suggest you to quit those exquses cause theyr just ridiculous.

    • Kestas (LTU) says:

      Some would say that Lithuanian Top-8 are not playing as well (Saras, Siskauskas, Kaukenas, Petravicius, Lavrinovic twins, Songaila, Ilgauskas), so please don’t even start with that B-team.. Better have one more look at how US barely beat Brasil (basically they got lucky there and Brasil is not a top-4 team) and struggled to put down a very unimpressive Russian team without Khriapa, Holden and Kirilenko. Don’t start with premature excuses (“just in case we get beaten, it’s our B-team, yeah!” ;), you haven’t lost yet. Simply it does not look serious. Look at how we expect our team to win eventhough everyone understands that on paper we should have no chances. Supprt those nba folks, because right now they look bored and playing it without any flair.

      • Law064 says:

        To all Lituania fans that say this is not your best team, If the NBA stars played this tournament it would be like Magic Bird and Jordan in 1994 no competition. They would destroy any team with their best players suited up. A+, A or B. The US will take this, Turkey is the hottest team and will be the biggest challenge for the USA team. I don’t wanna hear that Lituania players like Ilgauskas not playing?? Are you serious he can barely run let alone play this tournament and finish a full NBA season. If Wade,James,CP3, Melo, and company played this tournament they would win by a 30-40 point margin every game. The US has good players but not the best in the NBA and that will be enough to win this tournament. Coach K 1 of the best coaches ever will guide the ship while K. Durant pour in points. Hands down USA win. And like my friend Homer Simpson would say… USA USA USA!!!!!!

    • Jake says:

      All you people talkin about Lit. not having their A team see my post above.

  20. Stan says:

    Easy win for the U.S. just watch and see. Also I should note that this is the B-team for the US,. Our A-team will bring home the gold as well in 2012.

    • Simas says:

      You see, that is your team’s problem.. you never see further than you nose- to my mind, that is the waekest place of your team- they are not interested in who are they facing and how they’ve been performing.. to your mind it is the greatest power on Earth, to our mind it is respect, appreciation, control and beauty of the game, is not only raw physical ball ponding to the rim, but tactical and mental fight.. :) ..i’m not even saying that you are not the only B Team in this tournament- only Turkey from top 4 has (almost) the best of theirs in the squad.. Nor Serbia or Lithuania runs around shouting that they don’t care about the championship because they woud definitely be the best if they had Team A..

      • Jake says:

        Don’t fool around and say that Serbia and Lit. would be better than the US if they had their A team. We don’t have ANYBODY FROM THE TEAM TWO YEARS AGO. NOBODY. Lithuainia isn’t missing anybody important. Big Z, Jaskicekvicus and all those others guys are too old that’s why their not here.

  21. jessie says:

    USA is the best basketball team and has the best players, i love it how people are talking trash just wait til sat. then lets see what you are saying then.

  22. Joe says:

    A team like Russia is tough. They have a well balance offense and play well together. Lithuania is sure to bring more of it but also have a good defense. Another big challenge for Team USA in what figures to be a great game.
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Three-Reasons-Team-USA-Should-Lose-the-2010-World-Championship

    http://hubpages.com/hub/threereasonsteamusashouldwinthe2010worldchampionship

  23. project JGR says:

    it doesn’t matter if TEAM USA will lose against LITHUANIA. It’s not their BEST TEAM though, it’s just the B-TEAM. Cause if LeBron, Kobe, Wade, CP3, D Howard, D Williams, C Bosh will be in that USA team, I bet even the World Selection of Basketball players won’t beat them..=)

    • GnG says:

      :D u realy afraid of LIT. dont forget that we sent B team aswell without Jasikevicius, Siskauskas, Big Z, Kaukenas, brothers Lavrinovic and etc. Face our new generation :D and why did u sent B team to WC? becouse your A team doesnt want to play for USA, too arogant… no spirit ;) Lithuanians play very spiritual game. that is a difference.

      • Jake says:

        Why didn’t you send your A team to the World Championships? Is it because your A team doesn’t want to play for Lithuainia. Too arrogant…no spirit.

  24. Tballs says:

    John, you’re a great columnist, but you have to start giving respect to teams like LTU. In your preview of this game, you were definitely singing the Argentina song way too much haha. No worries though, I think we like being the underdogs. You should prepare yourself for a very nervous Saturday. It’s like prom night all over again

  25. getitright says:

    it was 104-85, not 104-95

  26. Bill says:

    There is no way the Lits can match up with the speed athleticism and Kevin Durant of the US. Just simply put, the hype about the Lithuanian team is all for speculation until they meet the US. Sure they’re a good team. Kleiza for one is a good player. But nowhere near Kevin Durant and the US.

  27. Edgaras says:

    Yeah next in line is USA but that match will be like 2 basketbal gods fight for the win and no surender !! this match could be proudly named as a golden final

  28. Kestas (LTU) says:

    people, stop complaining about the typo, this happens to everyone.. regarding Saturday.. If someone said to me some days ago that it’ll be us against USA in the semis, I’d say USA has a stress free path to the Final and that’s it. But after seing US play Russia (not impressed) and us improving so much against Argentina, this semifinal becomes quite interesting. But US are the clear-cut favourites, of course, simply thanks to the hype surrounding them (if individual tallent wasn’t enough). And sorry for that tasteless 9.11 “joke” bellow. That was an equally devastating day for Lithuanians as it was for the Americans, no doubt about that. I hope on Saturday there will be a moment of silence before the game.

  29. iceman says:

    it doesn’t matter if the score written was 104-89 or 104-99 or what ever….win by as many points as 5, 10, 15, 20 or even a hundred points…. what matters is they got the “W” they needed at the final buzzer and enter the semi-finals…. its just one of those game…. GO LIT!

  30. Kazem says:

    lol. You guys are like sheeps more than human… When 1 person wrote that its 104-85 we can understand. You dont need to spam that its 104-85… Btw USA- Lituania match isnt that important because whether usa or lituania,there is noway to win against Turkey…

  31. Mantas says:

    We’ll beat that arrogant USA team. Btw 2day referies on USA-Russia game was helping USA, americans can touch, scratch on russians and when russian player even didn’t touch referies call a foul (especially on Durant, maybe he is from glass? ) P.s. NBA.COM show some respect for Lithuania and put on main page Lithuanian team foto(not jsut USA) !!!!!

    • Jake says:

      If everybody on Lithuania’s team played in the NBA then maybe they would make the home page of NBA.com. If you want full coverage for every team go to FIBA.com.

      • Jake says:

        That comment about the refs is ridiculous by the way. Watch the highlights and you see a Russian player crash into Durant while Durant’s in midair and knock him to the ground and they don’t call a foul. Good thing Durant made the shot anyway! Peace.

    • Law064 says:

      Go to Lituania if you wanna see there team on the main page. USA will destroy your poor little Lituania team. 1st Lituania will have to shoot hot just like they did against Argentina. Sorry my friend USA is not Argentina, and USA is young, fast,& talented. USA all the way.

  32. GRR says:

    OK, we get it about the score- a win’s a win and Lithuania still advance. Expect them to get physical and try to hurt the US inside. However, America’s athleticism is second to none, so running the break well will be crucial. USA has to be the very strong favorite for the tournament now. I’m a little surprised to see both Spain and Argentina out at this stage, but that’s the beauty of basketball- however good a team may look on paper, it still has to show up on the night.

  33. orety says:

    hehe, even you couldn’t belive it was really +19 for Ltu :)

  34. johnschuhmann says:

    Hey guys, what was the score again? Geez, it was right in the title.

    • laurynas says:

      lithuanians usually have very intensive defence :)

      looking forward for your preview. it must be difficult to preview, cause this lithuanian team on a good day (like vs Argentina) can beat any team and on a bad day almost was beaten by Canada…

  35. Vilius says:

    Just to clear things up for you-it wasn’t a big upset.It was something you could have expected if you watched all the games of the tournament.And by the way-final score is 104-85.

  36. unknown says:

    I knew it lituania and serbia always the powerful small wild card countrys.People always talk about argetina,brasil,greece and spain.Tell me know where are the big titan now?Playing some weak acumulative consolidation game for your ranking in the next fiba I always wanted to see finals lituania vs serbia .When this two country goes on fire nobody can stop them,NOBODYexcept themselves.

  37. son says:

    it was 104-85, not 104-95, so get it right. i bet when lithuanian will beat usa, it will say that usa won.

  38. flyeetad says:

    excuse me, sir, it’s 104-85, not 104-95 :)

  39. Bardas says:

    Lithuania – Argentina 104-85, not 104-95 :))

  40. mistake says:

    the result was 104-85 please correct this mistake ;)

  41. Linas says:

    Correct the score! Is 104-85 not 104-95 !

  42. lietuvis says:

    104:85 lithuania

  43. Davide says:

    104-85, not 104-95!

  44. bla says:

    not 104-95 but 104- 85 you idiot !

  45. azil says:

    It will be a tough game for Americans. They will prevail, yet on a very tight margin. Think USA-Brazil encounter last week. If Russians managed to squeeze 10 point defeat, Lithuania looks much more menacing. And on a good day, like tonight’s explosion over Argentina, they could be a threat to US golden dreams.

  46. Saras says:

    Lithuania gonna beat USA is semi, because they are playing like one team by all their heart, not such individual play witch shows USA, USA haven’t met any really strong rivals until now, they may underestimate Lithuania, witch may lead to another big tragedy like that happened to argentina (104:85).

    • Law064 says:

      Are you smoking crack or sniffing Dope?? USA will not lose they are young fast and hungry. Red, White & Blue will win Losing is not an option!!! USA USA USA

  47. Rob says:

    Actually the final score is 104-85

  48. Cid says:

    it was 104-85

  49. fan says:

    oh man i liked just how lithuanian defense shuted down Scola. and how he in the fourth quarter sitting on the bench was looking at the space. Lithuania crushed old and arrogant argentina. Oh don’t cry for me argentina… ;D
    USA next:)

    • Law064 says:

      Yes US is next, and Red White & Blue will beat Lit just like in the exibition games. Lit has to shoot hot and play hard to compete with USA. USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

  50. Rapolas says:

    It’s 104-85, not 104-95 the score is wrong!

  51. Lukas says:

    Actualy it was 104:85 victory :)

  52. Roland says:

    before settling with a 104-95 victory over Argentina
    Oh common… the score was 104-85!

  53. Rosle says:

    LITHUANIA victory over the Argentina 104:85 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not 104-95,mistake!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. Audrius says:

    95? added +10 points for argentina… it’s 104 : 85

  55. Mike Hawk says:

    Get ready USA, you are next in line.

  56. Ash says:

    haha my bad as well 104 – 85 not 95

  57. R says:

    Lithuania won 104-85, not 104-95.

  58. Ash says:

    I am quite sure its 104 – 89 not 99.

    =)

    And yea Lithuania really played well. Very different from the team US faced in exhibition. It would be a very interesting semi for sure.

  59. Aidux says:

    It was actualy 104-85 victory over Argentina

  60. Martynas says:

    It was 104-85 ;)

  61. Andrew says:

    Great win for Lithuania. Looking forward for a spectacular USA vs LIT game, but as I remember September the 11th is not the luckiest number for usa lads :)

  62. Lame? says:

    isn`t 104-85 ???? learn to read firstly….

  63. Sarunas says:

    104-85, not 104:95…

  64. Kasparas says:

    Yeah, if you play against us like you played today and we play this goddamn good basketball, Usa can get hammered a bit. But this is just an assumption . It should be quite extraordinary battle.

  65. aurelijus says:

    hey dude, you got the points incorrectly! It is 104:85 btw… you have to pay more attention to games like this next time

  66. FromLTU says:

    Actually the score was 104:85…

  67. domas says:

    WEE Will beat you! There is no one team , who can stop us!

  68. Audrius, Lithuania says:

    You made a mistake, Lithuania has won by 104-85 :) not by (104-95). Congratulations Lithuania!!! :) we are just 3 million people, but we are tough.