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Stunned by Lithuania at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, When Was the Last Time Team USA Lost to the Baltic European Country?

Published 09/03/2023, 11:58 AM EDT

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Team USA has long been a dominant force on the international basketball scene, amassing a remarkable record of triumphs. As the years go by, the team has seen considerable changes, with new players carrying on the basketball tradition of the country. Although there have been a few hitches against other basketball superpowers, Team USA has generally maintained its domination on the international scene despite these transitions. Consequently, Team USA has garnered worldwide support throughout the year.

However, to the dismay of fans, Lithuania stunned Team USA with a 110-104 upset victory in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Lithuania has managed to pull this off only 10 times in basketball history. Being a remarkable feat for Lithuania, let’s take a look at the last time Team USA lost to the Baltic European country.

When Was the Last Time Team USA Lost to Lithuania?

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The last time the United States lost against came Lithuania was on August 21st, 2004, in Athens for the Olympic Games. In a game to remember, Lithuania defeated the United States by a score of 94-90. Sarunas Jasikevicius put on an outstanding performance, leading Lithuania to victory in Athens with a game-high 28 points. Jasikevicius was essential in securing the historic victory with his clutch shooting and tempo-controlling skills.

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The USA eventually recovered to defeat Lithuania in the Bronze Medal Game of the same tournament with a score of 104-96. However, this victory marked a pivotal point in the rivalry between the two teams. The loss served as a wake-up call for the United States, which had long held a monopoly on the world of basketball.

Read More: With Combined $203,907,250 in NBA Earnings, Can USA Stars Create History at FIBA World Cup?

The dynamics of the rivalry between the USA and Lithuania significantly changed when Coach Mike Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, took over as the head coach of Team USA. Coach K’s tenure, which spanned the quadrennial cycles of 2005–2008, had a significant impact on how well the American team performed. Coach K’s teams faced Lithuania on several occasions during 2006, 2008, and 2010. And in those matchups, Team USA managed to secure victories often by substantial margins.

Meanwhile, Lithuania defeated Team USA with a final score of 110-104 in their latest matchup.

Team Lithuania pulls off an upset in FIBA Cup 2023

With a final score of 110-104, Lithuania defeated Team USA in a significant upset. Jonas Valanciunas led the way for Lithuania, bringing in 12 points and seven rebounds. By the end of the second quarter, Lithuania had made an astounding nine three-pointers, giving them a commanding advantage that reached 21 points in the first half of the game.

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With a Jalen Brunson, lay-in at the 5:44 mark of the same quarter, Team USA, who had been trailing by eight points, 52-56, cut down the deficit to just four points. Though the score was 75-65 at the start of the fourth session, Lithuania kept its composure and asserted a 10-point lead. The final shot by Mikal Bridges narrowed the margin to five, 100-105. Unfortunately, it was too late for Team USA, who suffered their first loss in five games.

 

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Team USA will next play Italy, while Lithuania’s triumph puts them on a collision course with Serbia in the quarterfinals. The thrilling matches will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Will you be watching?

WATCH THIS STORY: What Happened the Last Time Team USA Faced New Zealand at the FIBA World Cup?

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Written by:

Ranjitha Ramesh

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Ranjitha Ramesh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Ranjitha has a strong foundation in reporting and writing. Her passion for basketball, particularly the Lakers and LeBron James, fuels her desire to delve into the lifestyle and off-court activities of NBA stars.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja