France won a thriller against Lithuania in Cologne behind a stellar performance by Evan Forunier.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

France (1-1) got the first win in the Group of Death. They silenced 5,000 Lithuanian fans in Cologne beating the Baltic country (0-2), 77-73 (23-25, 17-16, 10-15, 27-17).

The game went neck-on-neck through the first three quarters. Lithuania, though, finished the third tally with a mini 6-0 spurt to create 6 points lead ahead of the last period.

However, France was better in the fourth quarter. Powered by Evan Fournier and Thomas Heurtel's buckets, France organized a crucial 9-0 run and had a record-breaking 7 points lead (71-64) with 2 minutes to play.

Rokas Jokubaitis cut Lithuania's deficit to 4 points (67-71) but Rudy Gobert made a putback slam to create a substantial 6-point advantage again (73-67) with 35 seconds to play.

Despite that, Rokas Jokubaitis gave hope to Lithuanian fans once more by nailing a couple of baskets (72-74). 14 seconds were left on the clock.

Lithuania fouled Evan Fournier who drained one free throw out of two (75-72). France answered with a foul against Ignas Brazdeikis. The latter made one shot from the charity stripe, missed the second one on purpose but France got the defensive rebound and secured the hard-fought W. 

Evan Fournier was unstoppable for France, recording 27 points (5/8 2PT, 4/12 3PT, 5/7 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 24 EFF.

France: Evan Fournier 27 (5 REB), Guerschon Yabusele 9 (5 REB), Rudy Gobert 8, Terry Tarpey 8.

Lithuania: Jonas Valanciunas 15 (8 REB), Rokas Jokubaitis 14 (5 AST), Marius Grigonis 13, Ignas Brazdeikis 12.

Evan Fournier's performance:

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