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Basketball roundup

Lithuania comeback stuns Spain

Associated Press / September 1, 2010

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Lithuania rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Spain, 76-73, yesterday in a game between the two Group D favorites at the basketball world championship at Izmir, Turkey.

Lithuania used a 23-5 run to tie the score at 66 with 5:25 left in the game. Linas Kleiza scored 4 points in the last 35 seconds to clinch the win.

After Kleiza made two free throws with four seconds left, Raul Lopez scrambled down the court to try to give Spain a last look from behind the arc, but Martynus Pocius deflected his pass out of bounds as time expired.

Kleiza finished with 17 points, and Pocius and Jonas Maciulis added 13 each.

Marc Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain with 18 points each.

Russia 72, Ivory Coast 66 — Russia recovered from its loss to Turkey in its third Group C game.

Timofey Mozgov scored 19 points and Sasha Kaun added 13 points to help Russia (2-1) keep its chances alive of advancing to the second round. It had lost to Turkey, 65-56, Sunday.

Russia scored 17 points in the first quarter and doubled it at halftime. It finished the third quarter leading, 53-44. The Ivory Coast is 0-3.

Russia made 7 of 20 three-pointers and 15 of 20 free throws.

Puerto Rico 84, China 76 — Puerto Rico earned its first win, using its strong transition game to overcome China’s big men.

Angelo Vassalo scored 22 points and Denver Nuggets forward Renaldo Balkman had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Puerto Rico. Nathan Peavy and former Northeastern star Jose Barea added 13 points each as Puerto Rico (1-2) bounced back from losses to Greece and Russia.

China (1-2) relied heavily on 7-footers Yi Jianlian (24 points) and Wang Zhizhi (17 points) to stay in the game, as the duo scored 20 of the team’s 21 first-quarter points.

Turkey 76, Greece 65 — Ersan Ilyasova scored 26 points to help Turkey improve to 3-0 and essentially secure a place in the second round.

Turkey improved to 3-0 and can get the top spot in the six-team Group C when it plays Puerto Rico today. Greece won its first two games and likely will finish in the top four in the group and advance to the single-elimination round.

New Zealand 108, Lebanon 76 — Kirk Penney scored 26 points and Thomas Abercrombie added 23 as New Zealand beat Lebanon in Group D.

Abercrombie scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers from the same corner, in the first four minutes to spark New Zealand to a 32-16 lead going into the second quarter.

France 68, Canada 63 — Nicolas Batum had 24 points and he and Mickael Gelabale each hit a pair of free throws in the final 17 seconds to help France clinch a victory.

France (3-0) is in position to win the six-team Group D when it plays Lithuania today. It was Canada’s third straight loss, crippling its chance to advance.

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