Basketball: Lithuania grab last quarter-final spot
LONDON (Reuters) - Lithuania clinched the last berth in the quarter-finals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament with a flurry of three-pointers that helped them overtake Tunisia 76-63 on Monday.
The victory lifted Lithuania, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, to a 2-3 record and the fourth seed place in Group A, setting up a quarter-final showdown against Russia on Wednesday.
The gritty Tunisia team could have given themselves a chance to reach the quarters in their first Olympics with a victory but they finished the five-game preliminary round without a win.
Lithuania had given the powerful U.S. team a scare in their previous game but struggled against the African champions before making a 9-1 run at the end of the third quarter to narrow their deficit to 54-50.
A three-pointer by Simas Jasaitis pulled them within one point and a three-point play by Darius Songaila at the end of a fast break put Lithuania ahead 63 seconds into the final quarter.
Back-to-back three-point daggers from Renaldas Seibutis placed Lithuania firmly in the lead during a 9-0 spurt that sent them on their way to the quarter-finals.
Sarunas Jasikevicius and Songaila shared scoring honors for the winners with 13 points each, while Amine Rzig paced Tunisia with 17 points.
In the opening game of the session, a three-point shot by Patrick Mills at the buzzer lifted Australia to an 82-80 victory over Russia.
The thrilling finish, however, had no bearing on the seedings as Russia (4-1) had already clinched the top seeding in Group B, while Australia (2-3) were set as fourth seeds.
Australia's Joe Ingles scored 20 points, and Sasha Kaun registered 18 for Russia as the game's top scorers.
The quarter-final match-ups were not completely decided and depended on later results, including the closing game of the day between the defending Olympic champion U.S. team (4-0) and Argentina (3-1).
(Editing by Matt Falloon)
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