Lithuania beat Nigeria 72-53 in men’s basketball game

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Lithuania beat Nigeira London 2012

Lithuania beat Nigeira London 2012

Lithuania beat Nigeria 72-53 in the men’s basketball Group A game on Tuesday as the D’Tigers lost to the Lithuanian team when they met in pool play at the London Olympics.

The Europeans avenged their Olympic Qualifying Tournament loss to Nigeria earlier this month with the victory to improve to 2-0 in pool play thus far.

Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza led a balanced scoring effort with 13 points and six rebounds while teammate Darius Songaila, a bit player for the majority of his eight NBA seasons spent with five different teams, scored 12 points.

Rimantas Kaukenas, a Euroleague veteran, rounded out Lithuania’s double-digit scorers with 10 points as Jonas Valanciunas scored four points in the blowout victory.

The two teams stayed fairly close in the first half, but Nigeria’s inability to knock down jumpers-making just one of their 16 three-point attempts-eventually did them in as they were unable to recapture the magic that allowed them to defeat Lithuania (and subsequently earn their Olympic berth) at last month’s qualifying tournament in Venezuela.

The Lithuanian team which took bronze in 1992, 1996 and 2000 settled for fourth in 2004 and 2008.

Lithuania’s next match will be against France on Thursday morning whereas Nigeria faces another difficult match against LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of Team USA on Thursday night.