Team USA tips off against Lithuania at 9:00 a.m. PT. Lamar Odom, Kevin Durant and co. need one more win to play in the title game. I’ll be updating the blog as the game unfolds. Feel free to add comments of your own during the course of the game.
– (8:30 1st Q) Team USA has come up empty on their first three possessions and have given up two layups. I can tell you now, if they’re going to beat Lithuania, they’re going to have to move the ball much better than what they’ve been doing all tournament. Lithuania plays a pretty unforgiving zone.
– (6:45 1st Q) It looks like Andre Iguodala will have the defensive assignment of taking on Linus Kleiza, who has had a great tournament thus far.
– Kleiza has been stripped on 2 of his 3 post-ups. Once by Billups, once by Iguodala. (via @johnschuhmann)
– (4:33 1st Q) Kevin Durant has things going early, scoring 12 of Team USA’s first 14 points.
– (1:30 1st Q) Lithuania was very efficient their fist few possessions, but Team USA seems to have figured out how to play their S&R offense. They’re currently on a 12-0 run.
– (End of 1st Q) 23-12 Lithuania’s offensive efficiency has really came to a stand still during the second half of the first quarter. Team USA got their hands on a lot of balls, creating deflections and getting into transition. Kevin Durant finished the first quarter with 17 points, Lithuania really has no answer for him.
– (7:40 2nd Q) Lamar Odom picks up his first points of the game on a tip in after a missed layup.
– (5:35 2nd Q) Team USA finally got some really good movement against Lithuania’s zone which led to Odom feeding a cutting Iguadala. Beautiful basketball.
– Lamar Odom doing all the little things that he never gets credit for. Great pass led to an easy dunk. (via @JonesOnTheNBA)
– (3:50 2nd Q) Lithuania has weathered the early storm and seems much more comfortable against USA’s athleticism. They’ve cut down their turnovers and have taken away a lot of Team USA’s fast break points. They’re only down eight points: 33-25.
– (2:10 2nd Q) Lithuania guard Martynas Pocius has been good thus far. Nine points and four rebounds. Most importantly, no turnovers.
– (End of 2nd Q) Team USA extended their lead back out to 15, going into the half 42-27. Kevin Durant, as always, has been brilliant with 24 points at the half. Lamar Odom has been doing a lot of really good things. He has six points, five rebounds, an assist, a block and no turnovers. He’s been great defensively sliding to help side on the S&R and closing out on shooters. He’s having one of his patented all around nights, doing a lot of things you won’t find in box scores.
The first half has gone pretty smoothly for Team USA. They have 12 turnover, which is way too many. They’ve also missed a lot of shots around the rim, something that I talked about in their preliminary games. @jose3030 posted Russell Westbrook’s missed dunk late in the first quarter, something that he’s done all tournament:
Team USA really just needs to keep the pressure on Lithuania on both ends of the ball. If they keep the ball pressure at a high level, they’ll be able to continue to score in transition.
– (8:31 3rd Q) Andre Iguodala’s offensive rebound started a sequence of five passes finishing with Lamar Odom scoring and getting fouled. They came up empty in their first two possessions. Iguodala’s offensive rebound was huge. Don’t want to come out of the half cold.
– (5:30 3rd Q) Eric Gordon missed a dunk on a fastbreak leading to a Lithuania three pointer. The five point swing cut the US lead to 10.
– Odom has been huge. Hopefully he’s exhausting himself for the NBA season. (via @celticshub)
– (1:40 3rd Q) Lithuania’s shots are starting to fall and have picked up their intensity. They’re on an 8-0 run. Timeout USA.
– Kevin Durant has 27 points on 16 shots. 74.2% True Shooting. Yeah, he’s been pretty good. (Via Darius; @forumbluegold)
– (End of 3rd Q) It was an up and down half for Team USA. Lithuania was finally able to knock down some shots, but they weren’t really able to pick up too much ground on the Americans, down 12 going into the fourth quarter: 65-53
– (8:15 4th Q) LO with a great sequence there. Instead of forcing a bad pass while trapped underneath the rim, he was patient and hit a cutting Chauncey Billups. He didn’t give up on the play, and tipped in Billups’ missed layup for his 12th and 13th points.
– (4:26 4th Q) This game has been much closer than what the score board shows. Outside of that huge first quarter, Team USA has only outscored Lithuania by two points. 77-64.
– (2:20 4th Q) Kevin Durant sets the USA scoring record in international play with his 38th point. He’s 14 for 24 from the field and has added seven rebounds. Fantastic individual performance.
– (End of 4th Q) Team USA remains unbeaten in the 2010 World Championships after beating Lithuania 89-74. Kevin Durant paced everyone with 38 while Lamar Odom was second in scoring for Team USA with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Team USA will play in the title game tomorrow against the winner of the Turkey/Serbia game, which promises to be a very good basketball game. Turkey and Serbia tip off at 11:30 a.m. PT today on ESPN Classic. Tomorrow’s bronze medal game begins at 9 a.m. PT and the Gold Medal game tips off at 11:30 a.m. PT.