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US basketballers all but upset

Deron Williams of the United States jumps with the ball past Antanas Kavaliauskas (L) and Linas Kleiza (2nd R) of Lithuania during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Lithuania and the United States on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Deron Williams of the United States jumps with the ball past Antanas Kavaliauskas (L) and Linas Kleiza (2nd R) of Lithuania during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Lithuania and the United States on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games Mark Ralston - IOPP Pool /Getty Images

TWO days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point win, the US men's Olympic basketball team had to come back in the fourth quarter for a 99-94 win over a fearless Lithuania team that had the world's best squad in serious trouble until the closing minutes.

LeBron James scored 9 of his 20 points in the final four minutes for the US (4-0), which had looked nearly invincible in thrashing Nigeria 156-73 on Friday and breaking several records. But the Americans were reminded that the path to the gold medal is loaded with traps and Lithuania nearly sprang one.

Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Kevin Durant 16 and Chris Paul added seven rebounds, six assists and four of the US team's 17 steals.

Linas Kleiza scored 25 to lead Lithuania, which led by 84-82 with 5:50 to play. After the US took a three-point lead, Lithuania would not go away and pulled within 87-86 on Darius Songaila's bucket with 4:12 left.

That's when James, who has already won an MVP trophy and NBA title this year, took control.

Read more at NZ Herald.

 

Topics:  basketball london olympics


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