With Lithuania concentrating on bottling up Tony Parker, Portland Trailblazers swingman Nicolas Batum stepped up and scored 17 points including three three-pointers while also collecting six rebounds. Boris Diaw, Parker’s teammate with the San Antonio Spurs, contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four assists while Parker ended up with 12 points despite shooting only 6-of-17 from the floor.
Former Denver Nugget Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20 points and five rebounds while Mantas Kalnietas added 19 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Batum made his presence known during the early stages of the game on both ends of the court. He started it on the defensive end by blocking Kalneitas’ shot . Offensively, Batum made a made a driving hook, knocked down a triple from the left wing and made a jumper. Lithuania was able to stay in the game due to the outside shooting from Kleiza and Jonas Maciulis.
Diaw scored off a putback on his own miss and a layup by Parker gave France a 17-10 advantage but then Kleiza went to work. Kleiza, who tallied 11 points in the quarter, reeled off eight points during a 12-2 Lithuania run that concluded with a lay-up by Kalneitas. Lithuania led 22-19 at the end of the first quarter.
With Lithuania leading 29-27 in the early part of the second quarter, Kleiza went to the bench for a breather. And France took advantage.
Nando De Colo and Atlanta Hawk center Johan Petro each hit a jumper before Batum made back-to-back triples which was followed by an Antoine Diot driving layup that made it 41-34.
Kleiza returned to the lineup but Lithuania couldn’t squelch France’s momentum. France forced four turnovers over a five-possession stretch which included an in-bounds pass that missed Kleiza and went untouched out of bounds with 0.9 seconds remaining.
France cashed in on that mistake as Diot caught an inbounds pass from Diaw around mid-court and launched a shot that went through the net to put Les Bleus up 50-34 at halftime.
Lithuania tried to get back into the game after the break but could not execute offensively against the tough French defense. The margin was down to 52-38 but Diaw came down the court and nailed a three ball.
Diaw took over more of the scoring responsibilities for in the third quarter with 11 points as France increased the lead to 64-42. Lithuania would eventually fight to within 68-50 by the end of the third.
However, Lithuania would not be able to get any closer than 14 points in the fourth.
The silver medal is Lithuania’s second ever in the event.