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U.S. cagers crash to Lithuania

By Alan Crosby in Athens
August 22, 2004 02:20 IST
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The United States crashed to their second defeat in the Olympic men's basketball tournament on Saturday when a late shooting spree by Sarunas Jasikevicius propelled Lithuania to a 94-90 victory.

The United States, winners of the last three Olympic tournaments, suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico in their opening game at the Athens Games.

In Saturday's game the Americans were up by three with two minutes and 47 seconds left when former University of Maryland guard Jasikevicius hit a three-pointer while being fouled by Lamar Odom to put his team on track for victory at 85-84.

He then hit another to extend the lead to four before Richard Jefferson, battling a horrendous shooting slump, hit his second three of the game.

Jaskevicius, who missed a three-pointer that would have beaten the United States in the semi-finals at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, then hit another. He followed that with two free throws.

Jefferson had another three to bring the Americans to within three points, and made a steal to give his team the ball with 26 seconds left and the score 93-90 for Lithuania.

But the New Jersey Nets forward missed a final shot to tie the game with 15 seconds left, and Ramunas Siskauskas made a free throw for the final point.

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Alan Crosby in Athens
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