Lithuania 114, Brazil 96
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Lithuania advanced to the semifinals of men’s Olympic basketball Tuesday, turning an 11-point deficit with nine minutes to play into a 114-96 victory over Brazil.
Lithuania (5-1) will meet the winner of Tuesday night’s United States- Puerto Rico game in Thursday’s semifinals. Croatia, which beat Australia 98-65, will face the Unified Team, an 83-76 winner over Germany, in the other semifinal.
The turnaround was remarkably like Lithuania’s only loss. It led the Unified Team by 19 points with 15 minutes to play and wound up losing that game 92-80.
Lithuania, which took 51 free throws and made 42, trailed 80-69 with 9:00 left on a bank jumper by Paulo Villas, Brazil’s last field goal for 4:05. The South Americans would have just four more in the game, two desperation 3- pointers in the final 1:14.
The 15-1 run that turned the 11-point deficit into an 84-81 lead with 5:56 left had eight of the points of the free throw line as the Lithuanians drove to the basket time and after time or passed the ball in low to 7-foot-3 Arvidas Sabonis, who finished with 32 points on 12 for 17 shooting and 13 rebounds.
Sarunas Marciulionis of the Golden State Warriors added 29 points and 10 assists for Lithuania and he and Sabonis finished a combined 23 for 29 from the free throw line.
Villas led Brazil (2-4) with 25 points, while Oscar Schmidt had 19, but his shooting woes continued. He followed his 4 for 22 effort in the final preliminary round game with a 5 for 20 outing against Lithuania.