LONDON (AP) -- Still unbeaten, but perhaps more importantly, the U.S. is no longer untested. The Americans got a game against Lithuania -- and then some. They got a scare. Two days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point win, the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team had to come back in the fourth quarter for a 99-94 win over a fearless Lithuania team that had the Americans in serious trouble until the closing minutes. LeBron James scored 9 of his 20 points in the final four minutes for the U.S. (4-0), which had looked nearly invincible in thrashing Nigeria 156-73 on Thursday night and breaking several records. But the Americans were reminded that the path to the gold medal is loaded with traps and Lithuania nearly sprang one. Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Kevin Durant 16 and Chris Paul added seven rebounds, six assists and four of the U.S. team's 17 steals. Linas Kleiza scored 25 to lead Lithuania, which led by 84-82 with 5:50 to play. After the U.S. took a three-point lead, Lithuania would not go away and pulled within 87-86 on Darius Songaila's bucket with 4:12 left. That's when James, who has already won an MVP trophy and NBA title this year, took control. He knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and after Paul stole the inbounds pass, James took a pass down the right side and delivered one of his trademark dunks, a basket that brought the American players off the bench and seemed to restore world basketball order. After a basket by Deron Williams -- on a possession Paul kept alive with an offensive rebound -- James followed a Lithuania turnover with a left-handed layup, giving the U.S. a 97-88 lead and allowed the Americans to remain unbeaten -- though no longer untested as they get ready for Argentina on Monday. This wasn't easy, and that may be good in the long run for the Americans, who couldn't have helped but feel a little overconfident after Thursday's game when they made 29 3-pointers, scored 78 points in both halves and put on a breathtaking 40-minute display of international basketball. Lithuania had lost to Nigeria last month in a qualifying tournament, but that hardly mattered once the ball went in the air. With a roster featuring Kleiza, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, and several players who played collegiately in the U.S., Lithuania, which upset the U.S. at the Athens Game in 2004 and has won three bronze medals, went right at the Americans' star-studded crew from the start. In fact, Lithuania outrebounded the U.S. 42-37 and for long stretches it was the sharper team on the floor. Lithuania also shot an impressive 58 percent (38 for 65) from the field. But with a bench like no other, the U.S. simply wore Lithuania down in the fourth quarter, forcing several turnovers to swing the game in the final minutes. In the morning session, Russia, overlooked by many coming into the tournament, upset medal-favorite Spain 77-74 to win Group B. Afterward, Russia's Andrei Kirilenko, who recently signed with Minnesota, offered a prophetic take on the uncertainty of Olympic tournament play. "One night you can have 156 points, and a different night the ball could start missing," he said. That's exactly what happened to the Americans, who went just 10 of 33 from behind the arc and too often took a ready-fire-aim approach. Within four at halftime, Lithuania scored the first five points of the third quarter and took its first lead when Sarunas Jasikevicius knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 56-55. Lithuanian's lead lasted less than a minute as Durant hit a 3-pointer during a 7-0 run and the U.S. took a 78-72 lead into the fourth. Kleiza's 3-pointer from the left wing tied it 82-all, setting off chants by the Lithuanian crowd, which had been politely asked to stop whistling earlier. The Americans still trailed 84-82 before Paul, one of the only Americans to play well on both ends, made a 3-pointer. On Lithuania's next possession, Jasikevicius got trapped in the corner and flipped the ball blindly over his head, leading to a U.S. fastbreak and basket by Williams. After his squad rewrote a couple record books on Thursday, Krzyzewski canceled Friday's practice, giving his players a second chance this week to get out and to other events and root on their fellow U.S. Olympic teammates. The day off may have cost the Americans a little of their edge as they came out somewhat sloppy. Anthony, who scored a U.S. Olympic record 37 against Nigeria, didn't start but he came out firing as soon as he checked in, draining a corner jumper after being on the floor for all of 10 seconds. When Durant followed with a 3-pointer on the U.S. team's next trip, it seemed as if the high-powered Americans would shift gears and pull away. The Lithuanians, though, stayed close. They weren't intimidated, and with the 6-foot-8 Kleiza bulling his way inside and hitting jumpers, the Baltic ballers actually outplayed their more celebrated opponents for most of the first half. The Americans had some terrible possessions, settling for long jumpers instead of working the ball around. That selfishness nearly cost them and it may still be an issue.
The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!
After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?
JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.
Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.
Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.
Man, what is this guy's deal?
First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers? Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?
Avengers Infinity war @8:00 Alamo Drafthouse. If you tryna come— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) May 21, 2018
Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.
Also I have 50 tickets for the movie!— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) May 21, 2018
Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.
Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:
@DhaSickest you haven’t played a down of football in a Skins Jersey yet, but you are quickly climbing my list of favorite Redskins. You are already my favorite personality. It’s infectious my man and if your athletic ability is half of your personality, we have a HOFer #HTTR— Mark Harrell (@SkinsfanMH13) May 21, 2018
Yeah! This totally happened ! Great to meet you @DhaSickest ! What a neat thing to do treating fans to a movie with you! Love it! #httr #RedskinsTweetTeam @Redskins #yourock @AlamoDC #gonnabeafanfavorite pic.twitter.com/Kn4B7qHyxE— Suzie (@whosuzieq) May 22, 2018
I don’t know where to begin. Nothing but love and respect for him 🙏🏼 Guice invited fans out to watch the new Avengers movie with him. He paid for all 50 tickets to watch the movie, on top of taking any photos with fans, signing autographs, even made a quick video message for the kids I work with. On top of all that he paid for our food too. I’m a die hard Redskins fan, but I’ve never been this excited for a player since Sean Taylor 🐐 best believe Guice is my favorite Redskin #HTTR thanks for the awesome night man 💯✊🏼 Ay frfr Mike Mayock, what character issues? 😤🐸☕️
At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.
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