Lithuania led at the half, but France's defense perked up and its NBA talent won out, as the French earned themselves a second straight victory against quality competition, beating the Lithuanians 82-74.
The surprise star early wasn't who you'd expect, as former Duke bench player Martynas Pocius nailed three threes and all five of his field goals in the first half to finish with 13, allowing the Lithuanians to take a 43-39 lead at the break. But contributions from France's bevy of NBA talent allowed them to pull ahead in a 20-9 third quarter, giving them a lead that would hold up.
Tony Parker led the way with 27 -- the goggles don't seem to be bothering him -- NIcolas Batum had an incredibly efficient 21 points on only nine shots, and Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf filled the statsheet -- Diaw had 10 points, six rebounds, and a pleasant eight assists, while Turiaf had 10 rebounds to go with six points. Pocius finished with a team-high 18 while Linas Kleiza put in 17. Jonas Valanciunas got into foul trouble early and only played seven minutes.
France finds itself in a very nice position after three games: a loss to the United States was absolutely expected, but it has followed that up with quality wins over Argentina and Lithuania. Lithuania is still likely safe to make the second round at 1-2 -- Nigeria and Tunisia are clearly a level below the other competition in the group -- but a blowout loss to Argentina and now this certainly haven't made the process easy for them.
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