BEIJING Maybe the Australia-Lithuania Group A men's basketball finale didn't have any bearing on the seeding for Wednesday's medal-round quarterfinals.
But don't suggest to the Aussies that it wasn't important.
After opening the Games with a pair of listless losses and stinging criticism heard all the way from Down Under, Australia has posted back-to-back-to-back victories in pool play, concluding with Monday morning's 106-75 thrashing of previously unbeaten Lithuania.
Australia (3-2) is now the hottest team coming out of Group A. Trouble is, they may have to open the medal round by facing the United States, the tournament's hottest team, period.
Leading the way for the winners as Andrew Bogut, whose 23 points in 16 minutes was tops among Australia's six players in double figures.
The former University of Utah standout and NBA Draft top pick connected on 10-of-12 shots from the floor, including all three 3-pointers, and added a rebound, an assist and a steal for good measure.
After some back-and-forth scoring early, Australia surged on a 19-0 run just before the half for a 55-29 lead at intermission.
Ksistof Larvinovic paced Lithuania (4-1) with 14 points.
Both teams had already clinched quarterfinal berths, including Lithuania as the group's top seed.Since Australia opened the Olympics tournament with losses to Croatia and Argentina, those are the only two teams that the Aussies can catch in the standings after Monday's full slate of pool openers. So it's like Australia will be forced to face Group B top seed United States in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
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