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Team USA gets big scare from Lithuania

LeBron James scored nine of team USA’s final 11 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter as they came back to beat Lithuania.

Just two days after completely blowing out Nigeria, 153-73, where the United States broke the single-game Olympic scoring record of 138 points and made 28 three-pointer, a Team USA record, the newest version of “the Dream Team” barely got past Lithuania, 99-94. The United States even trailed Lithuania with less than six minutes to go in their fourth game of group play.

Lithuania is a quality international squad, entering the Olympics ranked fifth in the world, but this USA team is packed with the biggest stars of the NBA and blew out their previous three opponents by an average of 52.3 points. Lithuania on the other hand is lead by Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza and former Duke backup Martynas Pocius.

Kleiza, who averaged just 9.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21 minutes per game, led all scorers with 25 points while Pocius, a member of Real Madrid who never averaged more than 1.9 points per game in three full seasons playing under Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, was second on Lithuania with 14 points while leading them with seven rebounds and six assists.

Lithuania out-shot USA 58.5 percent to 44.3 percent and made over 13 percent more of their three-point attempts. What Lithuania did well was share the ball with 21 assists on the team and they paced the game and never let any United States run get out of hand.

But an upset was not in the bidding for Lithuania and eventually the supreme talent of the United States broke through with a 17-6 run to close things out and the effort was mostly led by LeBron James, who scored nine of the team’s last 11 points in the final four minutes of the game. James ended the game with 20 points, tied for a team lead with Carmelo Anthony. Kevin Durant was third on the team with 16 points.

So far it was the USA biggest test and even though they won and improved to 4-0 in Olympic pool play it gave them a wakeup call that teams are not just simply not going to just sit down and let them win and that is a good message when they will face Argentina, the third ranked team in the world that is led by NBA star Manu Ginobili and also features Suns forward Luis Scola, Bucks forward Carlos Delfino and Andres Nocioni, who spent eight seasons in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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