Germany looking good; Lithuania in a hole

EuroBasket co-hosts Germany have all but sealed their spot into the next rounds, while Lithuania head into unfamiliar territory.

The two teams left everything on the floor and much more. But in the end Germany survived with a 109-107, double overtime win to go 3-0 in Group B.

For Lithuania, they drop to 0-3 and face the very real possibility of first round elimination.

With Lithuania down by five points with under a minute to play in regulation, Jonas Valanciunas scored the next five points, including a tip-in with seven seconds left to send the game to overtime. 

Dennis Schroder and Franz Wagner both missed potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime, respectively. But ultimately In the second overtime Maodo Lo drained back-to-back three-pointers to give Germany the final momentum.   

Lithuania had a final chance to steal a win, but a last-gasp three from Arnas Butkevicius fell short.

“It was a tough game,” said Valanciunas, who led all scorers with 34 points.

“They played well. We responded most of the time but not until the end. We were short a little bit, luck, maybe we didn’t execute the game plan the best. So we were missing something.” 

Lithuania have to beat Hungary in their next game to stand any hope of qualification.

For Germany, they next play champions, Slovenia, who they defeated 90-71 on August 28 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers just before the start of the tournament.

“Nothing has changed,” admitted Germany coach Gordie Herbert.

“We have high chemistry. We have a great mixture of players. We stated before: our goal is to medal. Just play one game at a time and get to the podium and enjoy playing in our home country.” 

Wagner led Germany with 32 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. 

Wagner also became the third German to score 30 or more points in a EuroBasket game in the 21st century along with Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Schroder.

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