Olympic basketball: Russia beat Lithuania to reach semi-finalAugust 8th, 2012 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS
London, Aug 8 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s men reached the semi-finals of the Olympic basketball tournament Wednesday, beating Lithuania 83-74 in a dramatic match here Wednesday.
Andrei Kirilenko, who returned to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves last month, top-scored for the Russians, making a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Russia showed good defensive skills and took a nine-point lead at the beginning of the second quarter.
However, inspired play by ex-Philadelphia 76er Darius Songaila, who scored 10 points in the second quarter alone, left three-time bronze medallist Lithuania only five points behind Russia after the first half, only for Kirilenko and Timofey Mozgov to get into full swing to give Russia +14 lead.
Lithuania answered with an 11-0 run to reduce the gap.
A tense fourth quarter ended in Russia’s favour after Mantas Kalnietis missed a three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining to end Lithuania’s hopes of a comeback.
Either France or Spain will meet Russia in the semi-final, with the Russians hoping for their first Olympic basketball medal.
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