Great Britain grabbed a lifeline in their bid to stay alive at EuroBasket with an 85-73 win over Portugal on Sunday and can still qualify for Round 2.

GB was reprieved from a certain exit by Poland’s dramatic 84-83 win over Turkey and although they are still long shots to progress, even if they beat Poland on Monday, Chris Finch’s side will, at least, go home with their first-ever victory in the finals to their credit after another dominant performance from Luol Deng.

The Chicago Bulls forward hit 21 of his game-high 31 points in the first half as his team built a 44-34 half-time advantage.

And with Scottish centre Robert Archibald adding defensive steel on his return after illness, Britain captured a small slice of history.

Deng showed his intent early, propelling GB into a 6-0 lead but Portugal – also winless so far – hit back to level at 16-16 through a trio of free throws from Miguel Minhava after he was fouled with 2 seconds left in the first quarter.

Deng was instrumental in a 10-3 start to the second. Mike Lenzly joined in the barrage, punishing Portugal’s perimeter lapses to help build a 44-34 advantage.

The shooting guard hit consecutive three-pointers to help increase the gap to 17 in the third as Finch’s guards profited from more time and room that they have had so far.

Lenzly broke out of his slump (Map Photos)

Down 63-43 at the outset of the fourth period, the Portuguese hit eight unanswered points and rallied to within seven. And although Lenzly fouled out after scoring 17, Britain were able to deliver a decisive push.

“The first three games I haven’t shot the ball very well,” said Lenzly. And so for it to it to fall tonight, it felt good because it helped the team win.”

Carlos Andrade had a team-high 24 points and 10 rebounds for Portugal.

Britain now goes into their fifth and final group tie on Monday with the opportunity to end up with a respectable 2-3 record, and fourth place in Group A at the very least, if they see off the Poles.

They will feel better now about the odds.

“We were always confident,” Lenzly added. “We knew we had tough competition here. Now we’ve got  one win, we want another one.”

Notes: Kyle Johnson, the Toronto-born newcomer, has quietly impressed off the bench in this tournament after sitting out much of the build-up while his naturalised status was confirmed with FIBA. Having finished his stint at Long Island University, the rookie pro is now awaiting word on where he might spend next season.

“I’ve not signed with anyone as of yet,” he said. “I’ve finished college, I graduated. Hopefully there’ll be something that will come up after this tournament. I’ve no offers as of yet. I’m hoping to come to Europe.”

Sunday’s other Group A game saw Spain delivered an emphatic performance to drill Lithuania 91-79 and guarantee themselves top spot in Group A.

The defending champions – led by 22 points from Juan Carlos Navarro – were utterly unstoppable in the first half, producing an offensive clinic to tear the hosts apart.

A 13-0 run in the first quarter was followed by another burst of 10 unanswered points as the Lithuanians floundered.

Down 62-36 at half-time, they had no way back despite a fightback in the fourth but they still join Spain in the second phase.

Poland will join them if they defeat GB while Turkey’s destiny is no longer in their own hands and they must beat Spain to stand a chance.

How Sunday unfolded on the MVP Twitter.

EuroBasket. Group A, Great Britain 85 Portugal 73, Turkey 83 Poland 84, Lithuania 79 Spain 91. Group B, France 91 Italy 84, Serbia 75 Germany 64, Israel 91 Latvia 88. Group C, Macedonia 72 Finland 70, Greece 58, Montenegro 41. Group D, Georgia 69 Ukraine 53, Russia 89 Bulgaria 77, Slovenia 70 Belgium 61

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