China 68, Lithuania 94



4:45 AM ET
August 20, 2008

Jasikevicius scores 23 to lead Lithuania past China

Updated: August 20, 2008, 10:48 PM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China's distant dream of an Olympic men's basketball medal was ruthlessly extinguished by Lithuania in a clinical 94-68 quarterfinal win on Wednesday.

Point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius hit five out of six 3-pointers to lead Lithuania with 23 points.

An exhausted Yao Ming left the game with 4:17 left after being shoved and banged for 33 minutes, hurling his towel to the floor in frustration before burying his head in his hands.

"We said the big guy is not going to hurt anybody," Lithuanian center Robertas Javtokas told Reuters. "We pushed him a lot and didn't let him get inside.

"In Lithuania basketball is like a religion. I don't think it's like that in any other country."

Lithuania, three-time Olympic bronze medalists, will face Spain in the semifinals after Pau Gasol led the world champions to a 72-59 victory over Croatia.

Double and tripled-teamed, Yao scored 19 points but spent much of the game bent over tugging at his shorts and gasping for breath after taking a hammering under the basket.

China's Lithuanian coach Jonas Kazlauskas criticized the winners for "negative" tactics.

"They doubled and tripled on Yao -- for sure I don't agree with some of those decisions," said Kazlauskas, who led Lithuania to Olympic bronze eight years ago.

"Sometimes it didn't look like basketball, the decisions Lithuania were making.

"We had a problem. We were not ready for this."

Yao, however, had no complaints.

"I think we got this far with our courage but we had our limitations," said the Houston Rockets center. "Of course we are disappointed but we have no regrets."