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Latvia defeats ROC to take home gold in 3x3 men’s basketball

Latvia battled back to beat ROC to win the first 3x3 men’s basketball tournament ever held in the Olympics.

3x3 Basketball - Olympics: Day 5 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Latvia came from behind to win the first ever Olympic gold medal for 3x3 men’s basketball by a score of 21-18 over ROC on Wednesday morning. ROC led by as many as five points before Latvia stormed back to take the gold.

Karlis Lasmanis knocked down a huge shot from long range with 28 seconds left to put Latvia up by three in what was the final score of the game. He finished with a game-high 10 points to lead the team. Ilia Karpenkov was the leading scorer on the ROC team with seven points in the loss.

ROC led 9-4 midway through the game before Latvia grabbed their first lead at the 3:26 mark when they went ahead 14-13. ROC found themselves in the bonus early, but Latvia locked down on defense and stayed out of foul trouble the rest of the game. Latvia took care of the ball much better than ROC did with a 8-2 turnover advantage.

Latvia finished 4-3 in pool play and won all three games in the bracket to win the gold.