The last day of the quarterfinals was played yesterday with a rematch of the controversial 1972 Olympics Gold Medal game between Team USA and Russia, with the day to be capped by the clash of the giants of Lithuania and Argentina.
Although USA and Russia played at 6 PM local time, the building up for the game started a few days before that, after Russia defeated New Zealand on Monday. American/Israeli coach David Blatt, who coaches the Russians, said that Russia deserved to win the 1972 Olympics in basketball despite the controversial call that gave the Russians three replays to get a shot to win the game. Things didn’t stop here, as Team USA’s coach Mike Krzyzewski responded back by saying that Coach Blatt is Russian. The game started off with six 3 point plays by each side, and the lead going back and forth until the first quarter ended with both teams tied at 25. Russia stared the second quarter strong and grabbed a 35-30 lead until Team USA started behind Andre Igoudala a 12-0 run and ended the first half leading 44-39 with Kevin Durant’s 19 points. Team USA started to increase the lead slowly, then after 2.15 m Russian star Timofey Mozgov committed his fourth foul, things changed with Russell Westbrook coming off the bench to score 7 straight points and increase the lead by the end of 3 quarters to 14 points. The 4th quarter saw failed attempts from the Russians to come back into the game, with Durant increasing his scoring total to 33 points, leading the Team USA to its seventh straight win, 89-79.
The night went on with a classical match between perfect Lithuania and Argentina. The game started equal between the two teams until Lithuania jumped on an 8-0 run in the first quarter to lead 17-10 and from there it was all Lithuania, who knocked 9 of their first 11 3-pointers and managed to keep World Cup scoring leader Luis Scola in check, limiting him to 13 points after averaging a bit more than 30 a game. The Lithuanians increased their lead to as much as 32 points in the second half, to win the game 104-85 behind strong performances by Linas Kleiza (17 points), Tomas Delininkaitis (16 points) and Matrynus Pocius (17 points) while Carlos Delfino tried to make up for Scola’s miserable performance with 25 points. Lithuania will play Team USA in the semifinals, while hosts Turkey will play Serbia on the other hand. Both games take place on Saturday, with the former game being played at 7:00 PM while the latter at 9:30 PM