Lithuania has walked away from the FIBA World Cup empty handed after falling short to France 95:93 in the Bronze medal match.
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

France had defeated Lithuania to claim its maiden EuroBasket final twelve months earlier and would commence this match with an early 5:0 lead as a result of Lithuania’s poor defending.

Former NBA draftee Joffrey Lauvergne was an early player to watch, shooting seven points in the opening minutes.

As per usual the Baltic nation would look to Jonas Valančiūnas for its first score before acting captain Paulius Jankūnas added another two lay ups to the agenda.

Darjuš Lavrinovič was able to level the scores 19:19 a piece with seconds remaining before the first break however not before a Nicolas Batum three point shot in the dying stages.

Martynas Pocius hit the court with an impressive seven points in the second term while assisting Valančiūnas to trim their opponents lead to 43:42 at halftime.

Jonas Mačiulis kick started his big third quarter by setting up Adas Juškevičius from the three point line.

By the time Donatas Motiejūnas would emulate on his teammates accuracy from the line and the field, the Lithuanians had captured a handy 71:64 lead going into the final term; little did we know how controversial it would be.

The French would slowly make their way back into contention in the opening minutes before Mačiulis landed a long range lay up to restore Lithuania’s 75:70 lead.

However the NBA experience of Batum, Lauvergne and Boris Diaw would see the reigning European champions pour the next seven straight points.

Seibutis would once again lead Lithuania’s assists for the game.

His most memorable for the tournament would allow for Valančiūnas to dunk with aggression before following up with another three point play, granting his nation an 80:77 lead with three minutes remaining.

Back to back lay ups by Diaw followed by accuracy from Thomas Heurtel saw France score the next nine points with a convincing 86:80 lead as 30 seconds remained in the match.

This period would be divided by three time outs as France purposely gave away foul shots in order to maintain possession of the ball.

Lithuania was forced to do the same as a three point play by Juškevičius followed by successful Seibutis free throws brought their nation to trail by a point.

The inclusion of Simas Jasaitis forced the veteran to purposely miss his second shot in order of a successful rebound and shot.

This would not be the case as Nicolas Batum was rewarded an opportunity to bring his tally to 26 points.

One second remained in the FIBA World Cup tournament for Lithuania when Mačiulis purposely missed his final free throw.

However the ball was rebounded by his opponent; entitling France a spot on its first FIBA World Cup podium after four unsuccessful previous attempts.

The fourth placing was Lithuania’s second highest result at tournament while the final match would see the nation register its highest tournament score since its 2010 Bronze medal victory.

Lithuania’s Stats:

Most points:

Jonas Valančiūnas (25), Adas Juškevičius (14), Renaldas Seibutis (13), Martynas Pocius (11), Paulius Jankūnas (10).

Most rebounds:

Jonas Valančiūnas (9), Jonas Mačiulis (5).

Most assists:

Renaldas Seibutis (4), Martynas Pocius (3), Paulius Jankūnas (3).

Team Comparisons:

Biggest lead:

Lithuania 8
France 6

3 points FG:

Lithuania 41.2%
France 35%

2 points FG:

Lithuania 48%
France 67.6%

Free Throws:

Lithuania 85.7%
France 72.7%

Blocks:

Lithuania 1
France 2

Turnovers:

Lithuania 7
France 7

Steals:

Lithuania 3
France 4

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