Steve Kerr finds silver lining in Team USA loss to Lithuania | Inquirer Sports

Steve Kerr finds silver lining in Team USA loss to Lithuania

/ 12:37 AM September 04, 2023

Steve Kerr Team USA Fiba World Cup

Team USA coach Steve Kerr during a game against Lithuania in the Fiba World Cup. -FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines-Coach Steve Kerr opted to put a silver lining to Team USA’s 110-104 loss to Lithuania in a shock result that wrapped up the second round action of the Fiba World Cup on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“I like the game. I like what happened tonight,” Kerr said in the postgame press conference to digest what went wrong for the Americans in a matchup between teams already assured of quarterfinal berths.


Team USA fell behind early behind Lithuania’s efficient three-point shooting and its size advantage, and was forced to play catch up the rest of the way, leaving a dent in its hopes of winning back the World Cup.


Anthony Edwards tried to somewhat replicate what he did in an exhibition comeback win over Germany in Abu Dhabi a few weeks back, but to no avail, as Lithuania arranged a quarters pairing with European rival Serbia.

“Lithuania obviously just came out of the gates on fire, made their first nine threes, took it to us,” said Kerr. “I love the way our guys fought back, played much better in the second half, competed like crazy, gave it a really good run, but it wasn’t enough.

“It’s a great game for us to experience. This is Fiba. There are great teams that have continuity, that understand what they are doing, they execute. Lithuania were brilliant tonight, they deserved to win.”

The loss put the Americans in a quarterfinal match against Italy on Tuesday at the same venue.

But Kerr seems to believe that it will only make the NBA-flavored Americans approach the rest of the campaign in a better way, especially now that one loss would mean an end to their title hopes.

“I hate losing [and] I’ll probably won’t sleep much tonight,” Kerr said. “But for us to get better, we needed to feel this, we needed to bond the way we did. And the next game, we have to start the way we did in the second half. We can’t ease into the game at all.


“So I’m hoping that this is a lesson and we get better from this,” he added.

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TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Steve Kerr, Team USA

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