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Third-quarter specialists Lithuania take on Australia at FIBA World Cup

Australia must get off to a strong start against Lithuania at the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday, or it might come back to hurt them.

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The two nations square off in Group D in Gran Canaria, with the Europeans unbeaten after two matches while the Australians sit third in the group with a 1-1 record.

Lithuania, however, has a history of dominating third quarters - their record in two matches in Spain has seen them outscore opponents 47-26 - meaning the Australians will need to fire early.

Guard Martynas Pocius said their strong third quarters could be down to the half-time message from coach Jonas Kazlauskas.

"It might be a lot of times we're not playing well in the first half and coach whips our butts at half-time and we have to start playing," Pocius said.

"Maybe it's that, maybe it's coincidence, but at least we're doing it, at least we're stepping up."

Lithuania downed the Boomers 91-78 in August, in the lead up to the tournament.

Australia's Brad Newley said his side needed to bring a more prolonged effort, after a sloppy performance in a 10-point loss to Slovenia before rolling past South Korea a day later.

"We need to play like we did in the last five minutes for the full 40 minutes," Newley said, of their output against Slovenia.

"I think that's the Australian way and that's what Andrej [Lemanis] has preached to us this whole campaign since he took over as coach."

Also in Group D, Mexico will be out to break their duck against Angola.

The Mexicans have fallen to 13- and 21-point losses to Lithuania and Slovenia, but have the best chance of the tournament to break through.

Later, South Korea - who sit bottom of the group - take on leaders Slovenia.

Headlining the tournament, Team USA are back in action after a day off as the all-star Americans tackle New Zealand.

The Group C leaders have accrued an 80-point differential inside two games, while the Kiwis are winless from their opening matches in an ominous sign for their clash in Bilbao.

The other matches in the group are both crucial given all four other teams sit with 1-1 win-loss ledgers - as Ukraine do battle with Turkey, and the Dominican Republic go up against Finland.

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