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Team USA advances to the FIBA World Cup finals after beating Lithuania, 96-68

David Ramos

It wasn't easy in the early goings, but the USA Men's Basketball team took off in the second half and took care of business against a tough Lithuania team, 96-68, and now advances to the FIBA World Cup finals. Klay Thompson led the way for the USA, after scoring 14 first half points, playing a bigger role when Stephen Curry got into early foul trouble.

Team USA struggled early, shooting just 37 percent from the floor in the first half and turning the ball over six times in the first quarter. Things were a little rough for Team USA, with DeMarcus Cousins picking up a technical foul after taking an elbow to the neck. Again, Lithuania played a super physical game and disrupted the USA's rhythm.

At halftime, the USA held just a single-digit lead, 43-35, and really relied on their guards to carry them.

In the third quarter, the USA went on a 10-run to start the half. James Harden and Steph Curry both hitting threes to give them some space. Harden caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 16 points in 10 minutes. He finished with 16 points in 22-plus minutes. Kenneth Faried scored nine points with six rebounds. Another great game for Faried. Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

On the backs of their defense, athleticism and long-range shooting, team USA went on to build a 30-point lead in the third. Once they were able to get out in the open court and space the floor, it was just too much for Lithuania.

Mason Plumlee played again late in this one, once the game had gotten out of hand. He logged seven minutes, scoring two points and pulling down four rebounds.

Jonas Valanciunas was strong for Lithuania, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds. But, of course, it wasn't enough.

Team USA shot 52 percent from the floor, with 24 fast break points and 21 turnovers forced.

Final score: USA 96, Lithuania 68.

Up next, USA will play in the FIBA World Cup Finals on Sunday at 3PM EST against either France or Serbia.