Kariniauskas says Austin Reaves’ brother told him to ‘trash talk’ Team USA guard


Lithuania’s Vaidas Kariniauskas taunts Team USA’s Austin Reaves during their game in the Fiba World Cup at Mall of Asia Arena. -FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Austin Reaves found himself on the bad end of a viral moment in Team USA’s loss to Lithuania in the Fiba World Cup on Sunday.

Reaves had a big target on his back against Lithuania, which punished him in the post every time he was on the floor.

Reaves played his worst game for Team USA, finishing with seven points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field in less than 13 minutes of action. He fouled out with still 2:13 left in the game.

Reaves had a tough time containing Lithuania’s bigger guards on the low block, including Vaidas Kariniauskas, who even stuck his tongue out at the Los Angeles Lakers rising star after scoring against him.

Kariniauskas, however, cleared that taunting Reaves was “nothing personal.”

In fact, Kariniauskas was even encouraged by no less than Reaves’ older brother Spencer.

“I played with his brother so I talked to him before the game and he said ‘give him the trash talk,’” he said following Lithuania’s 110-104 win.

Vaidas Kariniauskas Lithuania Team USA

Vaidas Kariniauskas leads Lithuania past Team USA in the end of the second round of the Fiba World Cup. –FIBA PHOTO

He did just that and backed it up too with 15 big points in 17 minutes off the bench to help Lithuania stay unbeaten at 5-0 heading into the quarterfinal round.

The 29-year-old Kariniauskas and Spencer were teammates with Brose Bamberg in Germany’s Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) last year.

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