RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) – Lithuania improved to 3-0 in Group B after getting the better of Argentina, 81-73, in front of a packed house at Carioca Arena 1 on Thursday night.

There was little to separate the two teams in the first half, which ended with the Lithuanians heading back to the locker room up 30-27.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas spearheaded a 12-3 run late in the third quarter that gave the European side the first double-digit lead of the game, 57-47.

However, Argentina dug deep and scored 12 unanswered points to edge in front 61-59 with 6:51 left to play.

Lithuania regained the lead on a Jonas Maciulis three-pointer with 4:33 to go and extended it to 77-71 when Renaldas Seibutis made good on a lay-up and ensuing free-throw just inside the final minute. There was a further blow for Argentina as Luis Scola fouled out on the play.

With 46.9 seconds, Manu Ginobili missed a pair of free-throws for the third time and there was no such outcome for Seibutis who was a perfect 4-of-4 in two trips to the foul line in the closing seconds of the game.

Turning Point: Facundo Campazzo scored inside to get Argentina within 74-71 with 1:17 left in the game but Seibutis’ converted three-point play that resulted in Scola having to return to the bench proved to be the breaking point for Sergio Hernandez’s side.

Stats Don’t Lie: Lithuania’s bench was huge, outscoring Argentina’s 34-13.

Hero: Kuzminskas had a game-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He accounted for 9 of the points in Lit run late in the third quarter.

Bottom Line: Lithuania are the only undefeated team in Group B and appear to be bound for the Quarter-Finals. The defeat dropped Argentina to 2-1 to match Croatia’s mark. Lithuania take on Spain on Saturday in a re-match of the Final of EuroBasket 2015, a day which will also see the much-anticipated match-up between Argentina and hosts Brazil.

Source FIBA

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