France won their first European Championship in history as they topped Lithuania 80-66 to win the EuroBasket 2013 gold medal. After being limited by foul trouble and only scoring three points in the semi-finals, France’s Nicolas Batum came back to lead the winners with 17 points and six rebounds.
Linas Kleiza was hot early for Lithuania, scoring 16 points and leading his team to a 29-27 lead. However, then Kleiza took a rest and France took control of the game. The French went on a 21-3 run going into halftime to take a 50-34 lead at the break. Batum scored eight points in that run. France never was threatened in the second half, eventually pulling out to a 22-point lead and coasted to the victory.
France played a solid overall game, shooting 47.9% from the field, out-rebounding Lithuania 42-25 and committing just nine turnovers. Lithuania did a good defensive job on Tony Parker, holding him to 12 points on six-for-17 shooting. Boris Diaw took up some of the slack with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Kleiza led Lithuania with 20 points but only scored four points after his early 16 points. Point guard Mantas Kalnietis continued his solid play with 19 points, four rebounds and two assists in the loss.
France’s domination of the boards was one of the key factors in the game. Lithuania’s centers Jonas Valanciunas and Darjus Lavrinovic combined for seven points and three rebounds in 29 minutes. Valanciunas did not score and Lavrinovic did not get a rebound. 7’1 Alexis Ajinca grabbed ten rebounds in 18 minutes of play to help the French to their +17 rebounding advantage. France also had a 12-2 edge on offensive rebounds.
Spain took third place with an easy 92-66 win over Croatia. Sergio Llull led Spain with 21 points while Marc Gasol (17 points, eight rebounds) and Victor Claver (16 points) also scored in double-figures. Bojan Bogdanovic continued his fine play and led Croatia with 22 points.
Parker was the choice as the EuroBasket 2013 MVP. Parker was the tournament’s top scorer with 19.7 points-per-game, shot 52.6% from the field and dished out 3.3 assists-per-game.
Parker was joined on the All-Tournament team by Slovenia’s Goran Dragic (15.8 ppg, 4.4 apg), Croatia’s Bogdanovic (17.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Kleiza of Lithuania (11.4 ppg, 5 rpg) and Spain’s Marc Gasol (13.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.2 apg).