Turning Point: After Israel's David Blu missed two free-throws to leave the door open for a Latvia comeback, Arik Shivek's team fouled Janis Strelnieks. With his team trailing 89-87 with six seconds to play, Strelnieks made the first foul shot but missed the second and Israel rebounded. They added two more free-throws and Latvia's Strelnieks put up a crazy shot from beyond half-court that didn't come close to the basket.
Game hero: Lior Eliyahu had a team-high 26 points.
Stats Don't Lie: Israel out-rebounded Latvia 42-37 and also got 52 points in the paint to just 36 for the Baltic side.
It took a while for Israel to get going at the EuroBasket but Arik Shivek's team is finally playing like the dangerous team everyone said they'd be in Siauliai.
On Sunday, 48 hours after nearly upsetting Serbia, Israel defeated Latvia 91-88 with Lior Eliyahu scoring 26 points.
The Latvians, who have pushed every opponent to the limit, got another strong effort from captain Janis Blums with the Bizkaia Bilbao Basket guard pouring in a game-high 27 points.
It's too little, too late for Israel as they have no chance of progressing in the competition from Group B.
Israel seemed to have victory sewn up when Guy Pnini, who missed his first six three-pointers, drilled one from the right corner for an 89-84 advantage just 18 seconds from the end.
Arik Shivek, the Israel coach, then had Pnini, the staunch defender of Maccabi Tel Aviv, guard Latvian danger man Rihards Kuksiks but Kuksiks managed to get just a little daylight and nail a three from the left wing with 14 seconds to play to cut Israel's lead to 89-87.
Latvia then fouled Israel's excellent shooter, David Blu, but he missed two free-throws to give the Baltic side a chance to pull level or snatch victory.
Shivek opted to put Latvia on the line instead of letting them attempt a potential game-winning three-pointer.
The strategy paid off because Janis Strelnieks was the youngster they fouled and he made the first attempt but missed the second.
Israel's Guy Mekel rebounded the miss, was fouled and sank two free-throws for a three-point lead with five seconds to play.
Latvia inbounded to Strelnieks and the 22-year-old seemed to panic, shooting before he reached half-court with a few seconds still on the clock.
Strelnieks missed everything and the final buzzer sounded to once again leave Latvia's fans, players and coaches with a narrow defeat to digest.