The third/fourth game of any major Basketball tournament is an odd contest, and so it proved at the FIBA World Cup 2014 yet again. You see, neither France nor Lithuania wanted to play this game and they came into it with a feeling of despair and heartbreak because they did not make the final. However, at the same time there is immense pride over what has been a good tournament, although the Lithuanians will not be feeling too good.
That’s because France emerged narrow 93-95 winners to claim bronze at the FIBA World Cup 2014, the first time the country has scaled that particular height at this competition. Third place is not the final or the title, but it represents another improvement in the French game and follows a year on from the country’s first ever Eurobasket success.
As for Lithuania, the final still eludes the country and this second time of asking after reaching this stage in 2010 has seen the nation worse off. The third placed team in Turkey four years ago now has to make do with fourth this time around.
Lithuania vs. France, 95-93
It was a frenetic game that saw both teams consistently grab buckets throughout the 40 minutes, with France outlasting Lithuania during the opening ten minutes to lead 19-22. The tight scoring game continued in the second frame, but Lithuania found more attacking edge to lead the charge, taking a 23-21 quarter. At the midway buzzer the game was completely in the balance, although Les Bleus enjoyed a slender one point advantage at 42-43.
There was finally some daylight between the teams in the third quarter as Lithuania found even more consistency at the offensive basket. By the end of 30 minutes the Baltic nation held a 71-64 lead with just ten minutes to play. France found an extra gear in what would be the closing stanza of the tournament for both countries. The French poured in 31 points to sneak past Lithuania at the end of regulation.
Nicholas Batum was in fantastic form for the winners again, securing a game high 27 points. Boris Diaw ended the game with 15 points, while Joffrey Lauvergne Thomas Huertel scored 13 apiece.
Jonas Valanciunas topped the Lithuanian scoring charts with 25 points during the game, while Renaldas Seibutis took 13 points, and Adas Juskevicius 14.