Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Lithuania climbs out of 18-point hole
ESPN.com news services
Lithuania rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Spain 76-73 Tuesday in a game between the two Group D favorites at the basketball world championship.
Lithuania used a 23-5 run to tie the score at 66 with 5:25 left in the game. Linas Kleiza scored four points in the last 35 seconds to clinch the win.
After Kleiza made two free throws with four seconds left, Raul Lopez scrambled down the court to try to give Spain a last look from behind the arc, but Martynus Pocius deflected his pass out of bounds as time expired.
Kleiza finished with 17 points, while Pocius and Jonas Maciulis added 13 each.
Marc Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain with 18 points each.
Turkey 76, Greece 65
Ersan Ilyasova scored 26 points to help Turkey clinch a win over Greece at the basketball world championship, essentially securing to place in the second round.
Turkey improved to 3-0 and can secure top spot in the six-team Group C when it plays Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Greece won its first two games and likely will finish in the top four in the group and advance to the single-elimination round.
Ioannis Bourousis led Greece with 15 points, while no other Greek player scored more than nine points. Omer Asik added 12 for Turkey.
France 68, Canada 63
Nicolas Batum and Mickael Gelabale each hit a pair of free throws in the final 17 seconds to help France clinch a 68-63 win over Canada at the FIBA world championship.
The victory puts France (3-0) in a position to win the six-team Group D when it plays Lithuania on Wednesday. It was Canada's third straight loss, crippling its chance to advance to the single-elimination round.
Batum led France with 24 points, while no other French player scored more than eight points. Canada's Levon Kendall scored 15 points, and 19-year-old Kelly Olynyk added 13.
Puerto Rico 84, China 76
Puerto Rico earned its first win, using its strong transition game to overcome China's big men.
Angelo Vassalo scored 22 points and Denver Nuggets forward Renaldo Balkman had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Puerto Rico. Nathan Peavy and Jose Barea added 13 points each as Puerto Rico (1-2) bounced back from losses to Greece and Russia in Group C games over the weekend.
China (1-2) relied heavily on 7-footers Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi to stay in the game, as the duo scored 20 of the team's 21 first-quarter points. Puerto Rico countered with fast breaks, repeatedly beating their opponents in transition to take a 44-37 halftime lead.
Yi finished with 24 points, while Wang had 17.
Russia 72, Ivory Coast 66
Timofey Mozgov scored 19 points and Sasha Kaun of CSKA Moscow added 13 to help Russia (2-1) keep its chances alive of advancing to the second round after a loss to Turkey on Sunday.
Russia scored 17 points in the first quarter and doubled it at halftime, leading with four points over Ivory Coast (0-3). It finished the third quarter 53-44.
Russia made 7 of 20 three-pointers and 15 of 20 free throws. Russia scored 15 points from turnovers while Ivory Coast had 14.
New Zealand 108, Lebanon 76
Kirk Penney scored 26 points and Thomas Abercrombie added 23 as New Zealand beat Lebanon for its first victory.
Abercrombie scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers from the same corner, in the game's first four minutes to spark New Zealand (1-2) to a 32-16 lead going into the second quarter. The Kiwis dominated inside early on, and scored five lay-ups in the last minutes of the first quarter.
Jackson Vroman had three fouls in the first half and his absence hurt Lebanon to start the second half.
Fahid El-Khatib finished with 18 points, and Rony Fahed and Jean Abd El Nour each scored 12 for Lebanon (1-2).
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.