Lithuania had lost to Nigeria last month in a qualifying tournament, but that hardly mattered once the ball went in the air.
"It's always a great game when we play against Lithuania," Paul said. "We knew this was gonna be a dog fight and those guys played an unbelievable, unbelievable game."
James had been seeking one, never quite comfortable with all those easy blowouts after playing so many games that mattered this spring.
"We love the competition," he said. "I think we've got some of the greatest competitors in our league, in this world, so you want to have a game where you feel like you were tested, and we had that today."
Luckily for the Americans, they know they have James to pull it out.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.