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Lithuania sharp shoot their way past Turkey and into Semi-Finals
BARCELONA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Darjus Lavrinovic pumped energy into the Lithuanian engine powering the Baltic nation to a 73-61 win over Turkey at Palau Sant Jordi on Tuesday and booking a place in the Semi-Finals of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The win marked Lithuania's second consecutive trip to the Semi-Final stage of FIBA's flagship event. It also gave Jonas Kazlauskas' team a first-ever triumph over Turkey in the history of the competition as they had lost their two previous meetings, both at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
Lithuania, who now await the winners of the Slovenia-USA Quarter-Final, made 10 of their 19 three-pointer attempts, despite hitting just 1 of 5 from beyond the arc in the first quarter.
Turkey raced out to an 18-10 lead after the opening period before Lithuania found their bearings in the second, thanks to the sharp-shooting brilliance of Darjus Lavrinovic.
The 2.12m big man made all three of his three-pointers in the first five minutes of the second quarter, the last of which put Lithuania up 24-23 for their first lead of the game since Jonas Valanciunas had scored the opening basket.
Turkey, who had the upperhand early on with an energetic display, threatened a comeback with a 12-0 run that brought them closer on the scoreboard, but Lithuania had seized the momentum with that Lavrinovic charge.
The Lithuanians led 33-28 at halftime.
Turkey fought back in the third quarter to edge in front 40-36 on a pair of Ender Arslan free-throws, but Martynas Pocius and Paulius Jankunas answered the call for Lithuania, to help them take a 47-44 advantage into the final period.
Renaldas Seibutis and Jonas Maciulis opened the scoring for the final period effectively sealing the issue in Lithuania's favor.
Seibutis led Lithuania's scoring with 19 points and Pocius added 13. Jonas Valanciunas pulled down 13 rebounds to go with his 12 points.
Omer Asik, who played braving a flu, led Turkey with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Emir Preldzic, the hero of Turkey's campaign at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, accounted for 10 points.
Win vs. Turkey, new iPhone announced, and a double episode of Sons of Anarchy premiere tonight...it's like Christmas came in September! 🎅— Martynas Pocius (@ltumarty) September 9, 2014