Why the United States is still alive in the World Cup after losing to Lithuania

Sports News

This loss was a setback, but it wasn’t a backbreaker.

Anthony Edwards of the United States drives against Rokas Jokubaitis of Lithuania. Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

The United States lost, 110-104, to a Jonas Valanciunas-led Lithuania team Sunday in 2023 FIBA World Cup second-round action.

After falling behind, 54-37, at halftime, Team USA stormed back to cut it to six through three. USA had its chances late, but Lithuania preserved one of the bigger wins in its country’s history.

Anthony Edwards led all scorers with 35 points, and Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges added 14 apiece. Seven Lithuania players scored in double figures, and Lithuania out-rebounded the United States, 43-27.

Lithuania also shot 56 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the line.

Despite the loss, the United States isn’t eliminated from the tournament and has also secured its spot in the 2024 Olympics. After winning every game convincingly in round one, the U.S. did more than enough to advance.

The United States entered Group J, alongside Lithuania, Montenegro, and Greece. The records from round one carried over to round two, and the top two teams from each of the four groups advanced to the quarterfinals.

Team USA beat Montenegro, 85-73, on Friday in a classification game, which secured its spot in the quarters. Sunday’s matchup gave Lithuania the higher seed.

The United States will face Italy in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Spain won the 2019 FIBA World Cup after the U.S. was knocked out in the quarterfinals. The U.S. has won it all five times, with its last triumph coming in 2014.


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