Lorenzo Brown steals the show and Spain steals the game over Lithuania

2022-09-10T23:02:46+00:00 2022-09-11T00:33:11+00:00.

Aris Barkas

10/Sep/22 23:02

Eurohoops.net

Spain proved once again that they have a heart of champions against Lithuania in the Eurobasket 2022 Round of 16

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

With the game in overtime, Spain which almost stole it in regulation, never trailed again. The Spaniards started the extra time with a 5-0 run (88-83) and it was enough to put them in the driver’s seat until the final 102-94 as they qualified for the Eurobasket 2022 quarterfinals.

Lorenzo Brown was the star of the show with 28 points and eight assists after scoring only five in the first half. Willy Hernangomez added 21 points while his brother Juancho and Rudy Fernandez added 13.

“It took a lot of guts out there”, said Brown, “and I am thankful to be part of such a team. On to the next one”.

“It was almost overwhelming seeing the effort of this time which has nine players who haven’t played in the past in a Eurobasket”, added coach Sergio Scariolo. “We still found a way to win it. You have to give credit to the heart of those guys and it’s a matter of pride”.

Lithuania got 18 points by Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who remains a free agent by the way, and 17 by Ignas Brazdeikis who send the game to overtime and also cut the lead to one (95-94) with one minute left in the extra time. Still, it was Brown who stole the ball from him, got an unsportsmanlike foul, and restored order, as Spain jumped to a 99-94 lead thanks to two free throws and a lay-up by Willy.

Lukas Lekavicius and Domantas Sabonis added 15 points each, however, the losing side simply couldn’t close the game the right way. Plus Lithuania finished the game with 20 turnovers, while Spain had just eight in 45 minutes of action.

“It’s impossible to win such a game when you make 20 turnovers”, admitted Kuzminskas. “And now we are going home, which is disappointing”. 

Lithuania closed the first half with a five-point lead (45-40) and managed to get an 11-point advantage (58-47) at the start of the second half. Spain trailed again by five (68-63) at the end of the third period, and everything was possible.

The World Champions of 2019 didn’t give up and cut the lead of Lithuania to one (75-74) after a tip-in by Willy Hernangomez and a jumper by Lorenzo Brown with less than four minutes left.

It was crunch time with Brown tying the game at 78 after a missed free throw by Domantas Sabonis. Kuzminskas who started the game hot missed a crucial three, and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui gave to Spain an 80-78 lead entering the last minute.

Ignas Brazdeikis with a three gave Lithuania the lead back (81-80) and Usman Garumba with a tip-in gave Spain an 82-81 advantage with 16 seconds left. Lithuania had possession, but Sabonis got called for an offensive foul, giving Spain the ball and Willy Hernangomez the chance to go to the line. He made one of two (83-81) and set the stage for the big tip-in at the buzzer by Brazdeikis that send the game to overtime (83-83).

However, Spain had already the momentum and the know-how… It was a historic win since Spain for the 21st consecutive EuroBasket reached the quarterfinals and has the longest streak leaving behind them the USSR which finished in the quarterfinals in 20 straight events (1951-1989).

Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL