By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most anticipated battles in Group B turned out to be a complete and utter blowout. The Spanish national team delivered its best output in the Olympics, forcing Lithuania to an almost humiliating 109 – 59 defeat.
Pau Gasol became the third top scorer in the history of Olympic basketball, dropping 23 (with 5/5 three-pointers). Nikola Mirotic added 17 and Rudy Fernandez 13.
Only Mindaugas Kuzminskas (17 points) and Mantas Kalnietis (16 points) scored in double-digits from the Lithuanian squad.
Both teams showed a totally different picture in comparison to their performances in Rio, so far. But while Spain improved its game significantly, the Lithuanians, who came to this match with a 3-0 record were highly disappointing.
Coach Scariolo’s players made their intentions quite clear right from the start, presenting the audience with pretty to watch basketball, moving, plus shooting, the ball excellently and finishing the first quarter with a 17-point difference, 26 – 19.
Now if you expected a reaction by their opponents… well… you were blatantly wrong. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Lietuva became a plaything in the hands of the “Furia Roja”. Showing zero effort on defense and failing to execute their plans on offense, they looked almost helpless.
Frankly, it was as if you were watching a group of badly shaped doppelgangers of the players who had previously beaten Brazil, Nigeria and Argentina.
Meanwhile, the Spaniards showed no intention of down-tuning the rhythm keeping their strong connection to the basket and practically doing anything they wanted on court.
It was only natural, given the way the two teams behaved, that the point-difference kept expanding, according to the Spanish appetites exclusively.