Lithuania falls to U.S. in exhibition

The only thing holding the U.S. squad back was itself, as it overcame a poor performance in the first quarter to win by a wide 26-point margin. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

MADRID, Spain — After performing poorly in the first quarter, the U.S. national basketball team put up a resounding comeback against their Lithuanian counterparts, pulling ahead to defeat the Baltic state 77-61 in an exhibition game before the World Championships in Turkey starting Aug. 28.

The loss on Saturday does not bode well for the Lithuanian national squad, coming off a disappointing show in the EuroBasket 2009. There’s also a poor record historically. While Lithuania has excelled in the Olympics, making 4th place in Beijing 2008 and winning Eurobasket 2003, at the FIBA World Championships they’ve never fared better than 7th place.

However, the Americans are hardly all smiles after the win since the team only scored 3 for 26 in the first quarter for a total of seven points.

“If we come out against Spain like we did in the first half tonight, it’s going to be a long night,” said forward Kevin Durant said at the post-game press conference.

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