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Team USA braced for Lithuania challenge at FIBA Basketball World Cup

Team USA are 'ready for whatever' Lithuania dish out as they prepare go head-to-head in the FIBA Basketball World Cup semi-finals.

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USA are overwhelming favourites to equal Yugoslavia's record of five world titles after barely raising a sweat en route to the final four in Spain.

Mike Krzyzewski's men sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition in the quarter-finals, crushing Slovenia by 43 points in a dominant display which took their total points tally to 716.

Standing in the way of USA and a second consecutive final are Lithuania, who edged Turkey 73-61 to set-up a repeat of the 2010 semi-final.

USA won that meeting 89-74 but Lithuania have never been blown away by the Americans in previous years.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Lithuania lost 85-76 in the group stage and were narrowly beaten 85-83 in the semis.

Four years later in Athens, the honours were split as Lithuania recorded a 94-90 win in the group phase, though they lost the bronze-medal match 104-96.

But while confident of claiming the world title after hosts Spain were eliminated in the quarters, unheralded USA power forward Kenneth Faried said the team are bracing themselves for a stern challenge in Barcelona on Thursday.

"We're ready. We're going to lock in and be ready for that one," the Denver Nuggets man told reporters.

"I know they got [Jonas] Valanciunas, who plays for the Toronto Raptors. He's a good big, and he's going to be a force down there, but we're ready for him.

"We're ready for whatever."

Faried added: "We're confident in ourselves. We don't know what's going to happen.

"We don't know where the chips may fall, but we're confident in each other. We're confident in ourselves," he said.

"God willing, we will win the tournament and go home with a gold. But, if not, as long as we put our best effort forth and our best foot forth, then we got to live with the results."

Lithuania have defied the odds thus far, having played without a point guard for the entire tournament.

The Europeans lost star man Mantas Kalnietis through injury just days before the World Cup tipped off but the squad has stepped up the plate, dropping just one game against Australia during the group stage.

"When we lost Kalnietis, I was thinking that would be a huge problem. He's everything for this team," coach Jonas Kazlauskas said.

"I'm very happy how we're playing without him.

"I'm very proud of my players despite all the problems we had at the beginning. We did really a great job."

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