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18.09.2015, 21:00h
18.09.2015, 21:00h
64-67
17 - 2217 - 139 - 1321 - 19
17 - 2217 - 139 - 1321 - 19
Venue: Lille (FRA) |
Spectators: 20042 |
Referees: Emilio Perez (ESP), Olegs Latisevs (LAT), Emin Mogulkoc (TUR)

GAME REPORT


Lithuania End Serbian Streak, Return To Final

Lithuania emerged victorious 67-64 from an agonisingly fierce semi-final battle with previously undefeated Serbia on Friday night and will face Spain in the EuroBasket 2015 title game in Lille.

 

Turning Point: After an off-balance Milos Teodosic triple reduced Lithuania's lead to 65-64 with 14 seconds on the clock, Serbia fouled Renaldas Seibutis. The Lithuanian guard made the first but missed the second free-throw, Bogdan Bogdnanovic came up with the rebound and charged ahead for the coast-to-coast but missed the lay-up in traffic. Kalnietis grabbed the ball, was promptly fouled and, with 5 seconds remaining, he split his free-throws to make it 67-64. Jonas Maciulis intercepted a forced Teodosic pass, denying Serbiathe chance to fire off a desperation shot at the buzzer.

 

Stats Don't Lie: Serbia came into this game averaging 13 points on the fast break and at least a dozen more in secondary transition but Lithuania slowed down the pace just like they wanted and gave up a mere two points on the fast-break throughout this entire gripping clash. Serbia were not allowed to space the floor as they had done in every previous game in this tournament, shot the ball poorly and the compact Lithuanian defence controlled the battle on the glass 40 to 29 to take away Serbia's cushion of second-chance points.

 

Game Hero: Mantas Kalnietis committed eight turnovers and in any other semi-final he would have probably been burned on the stake for that, but he embodied Lithuania's fighting spirit for every single second of the 37 minutes he spent on the floor and made up for the mistakes with much more than his 13 points and nine assists suggest. Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who is often mistaken for a dispassionate player on such a fiery team, delivered one of his best games in a Lithuanian jersey and contributed everywhere on the floor.

 

Bottom Line: Lithuania would not have reached so far were it not for the fact that they add up to much more than the sum of their parts in this tournament and have deservedly earned a second consecutive trip to the EuroBasket final. This time they will take on Spain rather than France, in a replay of the 2003 final which saw the Baltic nation celebrate gold. Serbia have paid a high price for their first defeat in the tournament and will play against hosts France, the other team that had reached the semi-finals unbeaten, in the bronze medal game.

 

They Said: "To beat Serbia with 20 turnovers and shooting 2-of-14 from three, is something unbelievable" - Lithuania head coach Jonas Kazlauskas.

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

32.8%

19/58
FG
M/A

45.5%

25/55

43.3%

13/30
FG2P
M/A

56.1%

23/41

21.4%

6/28
FG3P
M/A

14.3%

2/14

80.0%

20/25
FT
M/A

83.3%

15/18

29

7/22
RT
RO/RD

40

8/32

13

AS

13

12

TO

20

7

ST

5

3

BS

6

23

PF

25

64

Pts

67

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