Two days after Team USA scored a blistering 156 points in a record-shattering 83-point win over Nigeria, the mens hoops team barely outlasted Lithuania for a 99-94 win.
Over the past week, the Americans had looked invincible. They won their first three pool games by an average of 52.2 points and played so well that they canceled their last two practices and to support other American Olympic athletes. Few expected their contest against Lithuania to be different.
However, Lithuania's led by Linas Kleiza had different plans.
The tension and drama was palpable inside an arena packed with Lithuania supporters until the closing minutes. There was one team that could not miss and another team that missed a lot, only this time, the Americans went cold.
Fortunately, LeBron James scored nine of his 20 points in the final four minutes for the U.S. (4-0). 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.
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 three-pointer from the top of the key and followed it with a trademark dunk following a stolen inbound pass by Paul that brought Team USA's bench to their feet and quelled Lithuania's upset bid.
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.