2012 Olympics | July 27 - August 12
Posted: Thursday August 2, 2012 8:50AM ; Updated: Thursday August 2, 2012 2:31PM

Basketball roundup: Russia edges Brazil; France, Argentina win

Story Highlights

Russia stayed unbeaten with a dramatic victory against Brazil

Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum lifted France past Lithuania

Argentina kept Tunisia winless behind Manu Ginobili's 24 points

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LONDON (AP) - Vitaliy Fridzon's 3-pointer with four seconds left gave Russia a 75-74 victory over Brazil, keeping the Russians unbeaten in the Olympic men's basketball tournament.

In the best game of the tournament thus far, the Russians blew an 11-point lead, falling behind 74-72 on Marcelo Huertas' layup with 6.1 seconds left. Russia called timeout and threw the ball into Fridzon along the left corner, who knocked down the jumper while appearing to have his leg hit as he was shooting.

Andrei Kirilenko scored 19 points and Timofey Mozgov had 18 for Russia (3-0), but it was Alexei Shved who led the Russians' late rally after they fell behind by five with under two minutes left. Shved, headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Kirilenko, finished with 17 points.

Leandro Barbosa scored 16 points and American-born Larry Taylor had 12 for Brazil (2-1). Nene finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Kirilenko, who came in leading the Olympics in scoring with 25.5 points per game on a tournament-best 72.4 percent shooting, had only five points after halftime, part of the reason Russia nearly blew its second-half lead.

Trailing by 11 late in the third quarter, Brazil battled back to tie it at 63 midway through the fourth on Barbosa's basket. Mozgov's follow shot put Russia back on top, but three straight free throws, the last two by Nene, gave the Brazilians a 66-65 edge with 3:40 to play. Taylor and Barbosa followed with baskets in the lane, extending the lead to 70-65 with 2:25 remaining.

It was still a five-point game before Shved knocked down a jumper, and after he missed two free throws, Russia got the ball back after a turnover and he nailed a 3-pointer that tied it at 72 with 26 seconds left.

Huertas drove left and scooped in a right-handed layup, but that left just enough time for Russia to pull it out. Barbosa missed from about halfcourt as time expired.

Russia will play Spain on Saturday in a game that could determine the No. 1 seed from Group B.

Kirilenko, the longtime Utah Jazz forward who stayed in Russia with CSKA Moscow last season and was MVP of the Euroleague, took only two shots in a scoreless first quarter, which ended with Brazil leading 20-15. The versatile forward quickly took control in the second.

He opened the period with a three-point play, then later ran off six straight points to begin a 10-0 run that he capped with two free throws for a 30-23 Russia lead. Brazil got back with one before the Russians closed the half with seven in a row, taking a 40-32 lead to the locker room after Kirilenko tipped in a miss with 27 seconds remaining.

Mozgov, a center for the Denver Nuggets, took over in the third, showing off some good footwork and touch on his way to eight points. Brazil finally brought its biggest body, Washington Wizards center Nene, back in with 1:45 left in the quarter, but by then Mozgov had overwhelmed its front line.

Russia twice had the lead up to 11 points in the period, the last time at 59-48 with 1:06 left, but Barbosa scored the final five points of the period to bring Brazil within six.

France 82, Lithuania 74

LONDON (AP) -- Tony Parker, wearing goggles to protect an eye injured in a nightclub brawl, scored 27 points and Nicolas Batum added 21 Thursday to lead France to an 82-74 victory over Lithuania in Olympic basketball.

Ronny Turiaf of the Los Angeles Clippers pulled down 10 rebounds for France (2-1), which was led by the NBA players on its roster. Batum plays with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Parker sank a 3-pointer to finish a 10-2 run that gave France a 59-52 lead at the end of third quarter and Lithuania never got closer than six after that.

"My legs felt very good today. I was able to run, penetrate, score," said Parker, the San Antonio Spurs point guard whose scored seven of France's last eight points.

Reserve Martynas Pocius led Lithuania with 18 points. Linas Kleiza, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, added 17.

"We played well for about 30-something minutes but we came up short unfortunately," Kleiza said.

Boris Diaw of the Spurs had a solid game with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

France coach Vincent Collet said Parker and Batum are pikcing up their games.

"This is the first game we've had them at this level. Tony told me that his legs were feeling a lot better now. And Boris is one of our big weapons," Collet said.

Parker's left eye was seriously injured in New York in June and he feared he might miss the Olympics.

Lithuania (1-2) needs a win, but next up is the U.S.

"We are going to play as hard as we can," coach Kestutis Kemzura said.

Lithuania is a three-time Olympic bronze medalist.

"We played a good game today but not enough minutes. They got some easy baskets and Tony took over in the second half," Kemzura said.

Argentina 92, Tunisia 69

LONDON (AP) -- Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and keyed a second-quarter run to help Argentina beat Tunisia 92-69 on Thursday in the Olympic men's basketball tournament.

Carlos Delfino added 21 points and Luis Scola had 20 as Argentina's NBA stars pounded winless Tunisia. Scola plays for the Phoenix Suns and Delfino is with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tunisia led by 14 after the first quarter. But Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs star, scored 12 points in a 15-0 run at the start of the second quarter that gave Argentina a 29-28 lead.

But Tunisia battled back and the game was tied 40-40 at halftime.

Ginobili hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and Argentina took the lead and never trailed again.

Argentina (2-1) played without New York Knicks-bound forward Pablo Prigioni, who is suffering from kidney stones.

Salah Mejri finished with 19 points for Tunisia and Mourad El Mabrouk had 16.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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