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US, Lithuania win to set up World Cup semifinal

Updated: 2014-09-10 11:54

US, Lithuania win to set up World Cup semifinal

Stephen Curry of the US (R) goes up for a basket over Slovenia's Zoran Dragic during their Basketball World Cup quarterfinal game in Barcelona, Sept 9, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

BARCELONA, Spain - Lithuania will have another chance to upset the United States after the two teams set up a semifinal rematch at the Basketball World Cup.

Renaldas Seibutis scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Lithuania outshot Turkey from behind the 3-point line to win their quarterfinal 73-61 on Tuesday.

The US then turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 119-76 blowout of Slovenia as six Americans scored 12 or more points, led by Klay Thompson's 20.

Thursday's semifinal at Palau Sant Jordi will be a rematch of the 2010 meeting when a Kevin Durant-led US beat Lithuania 89-74 en route to taking the world title.

"Everybody counts on that USA is the favorite, but we would have to give a fight against them for the semifinal," said Lithuania forward Jonas Maciulis. "We have to fight and seize the chance to play the final."

Backup guard Martynas Pocius added 13 points off the bench for the reigning bronze medalists as Lithuania's substitutes outscored Turkey's 28-6. Kerem Gonlum paced Turkey, the 2010 silver medalists, with 13 points.

A game featuring two NBA big men in Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas and Turkey's Omer Asik was decided from beyond the arc.

Turkey had needed two last-minute 3s by Emir Preldzic to overcome a five-point deficit and stun Australia in the round of 16. But the Turks only shot 3-of-18 from long range against a Lithuania team that made 10-of-19.

As Lithuania coach Kazlauskas put it: "All Lithuanians can shoot. Me too."

"They were concentrating on the inside so we had a lot of space on the perimeter," Kazlauskas added.

Asik started strong for Turkey with six of his 11 points in the opening period to help build an early 14-6 lead. But the New Orleans Pelicans center was limited by fouls as the game wore on and Turkey's guards lost their shooting touch. Preldzic looked set for another big night when he made his first three baskets, only to manage just four more points.

Valanciunas kept Lithuania afloat with six first-quarter points while its guards struggled early.

The Toronto Raptors center finished with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, after several bruising battles with Asik in the low post. One no-call on what he deemed a foul earned Valanciunas a technical for protesting. After cooling down on the bench he returned to help Lithuania dominate the final quarter when its shots started to fall.

"For most of these games we managed to make a comeback," said Turkey guard Sinan Guler. "But today, if we compare the 3-point percentages it shows how the game went. That took us out of our rhythm and at the end not making our shots brought the result of the game."

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