France beats Lithuania 95-93 for bronze at WCup
MADRID (AP) France came from behind in the final quarter to beat Lithuania 95-93 and win the bronze medal at the Basketball World Cup on Saturday.
Lithuania led by seven points entering the fourth period, and center Jonas Valanciunas scored five points to put Lithuania ahead 80-77 with three minutes to play.
But Boris Diaw drove twice to score contested lay-ups as France went ahead and held on.
The final minute became a parade of both teams exchanging free throw attempts, but France's shooters didn't waver. The final 16 seconds saw 11 fouls and 22 free-throw attempts as Lithuania wanted to stop the clock and recover possession, and France wanted to stop Lithuania from shooting from 3-point territory.
Nicolas Batum led France with a game-high 27 points, and Diaw scored eight of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to spur the comeback.
Valanciunas paced Lithuania with 25 points to go with nine rebounds.
Last summer, Tony Parker helped France win the European championship. Now, without the San Antonio Spurs guard, France has achieved its best ever finish at a world championship. Both feats came under coach Vincent Collet.
''When we started this adventure in July, we had the goal of finishing in the top three,'' Collet said. ''The way we reached this third place is even better for us.''
France upset host Spain in the quarterfinals before losing to Serbia in the semifinals.