Vaidas Kariniauskas and his fellow bench-players bailed Lithuania out with 43 points
Lithuania outscored Montenegro 11-0 in the final 5:34 of their encounter on Monday to make up for a very poor start and prevail 63-56 in the first game in Group E at the Sportland U20 European Championship in Tallinn.
Montenegro hit the ground running and forced their opponents to convert only two of their first 11 shots from the floor and commit four turnovers, to grab a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Balkan nation's players meanwhile hit 10 of their first 20 shots from three-point land and further increased their advantage to 13 points, 34-21, at the half-time interval.
As fatigue however was starting to take its toll on Montenegro, Lithuania were looking increasingly lively.
The players who came off the bench for the Baltic side contributed 43 points, while Montenegro got zero points from their second unit.
Mindaugas Kacinas and Vaidas Kariniauskas hit big shots in the clutch for Lithuania, but Montenegro misfired on 13 consecutive occasions from three-point range.
Lithuania reduced the gap to 48-41 at the end of the third quarter and gave up only eight points in the final quarter, with Montenegro's last points coming on a Vukota Pavic jumper 5:34 before the end.
Martynas Paliukenas sunk two free throws to tie the scores for the first time in the game, 56-56 with 3:06 left in the clash, and as Montenegro continued unable to connect with the basket until the final buzzer, Lithuania scored the final seven points in the encounter to complete their 11-0 run and clinch the win.
Kacinas led the winners with 15 points and added three rebounds, Kariniauskas finished with 11 points and four rebounds and Paliukenas contributed 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Marko Mugosa had a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds for Montenegro, while Danilo Nikolic had 12 points and six boards.