Basketball: Kirilenko helps Russia secure last-four place

 

Russia made the most out of their strength under the basket to beat Lithuania 83-74 and advance to the semi-finals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament yesterday.

Andrei Kirilenko produced his usual brilliant all-round game for Russia, while burly centre Timofei Mozgov operated down low with great effect to carry the Russians to the medals round in a gruelling battle marked by determined defence.

Kirilenko led Russia with 19 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds, while Mozgov added 17 points.

Russia will play Spain, who defeated France 66-59 in the other quarter-final, in the last four tomorrow.

"It was a physical game. Lithuania, they're a physical team," Mozgov said. "They were strong. The whole game was tough. Everybody's tired now but it was a good game."

Mozgov cleaned up around the basket in the first quarter to help lift Russia to a 17-10 first-quarter lead, and Kirilenko took over in the second quarter to allow the Russians to carry a 32-27 lead into the intermission.

Both teams struggled with their shooting in the first game played at the 20,000-seat North Greenwich Arena following preliminary round games played in the cosier 12,000-seat Olympic Basketball Arena.

Lithuania shot a poor 33 per cent and Russia were not much better, connecting on 37 per cent of their attempts, while making only five of 14 foul shots before half-time.

"We were playing great and then we go to the free throw line and we can't throw a ball in the ocean," lamented the Russian coach, David Blatt.

Both teams began to find the range in the second half. Kirilenko took the initiative early and Mozgov weighed in later with a pair of dunks that helped Russia to a 52-39 lead toward the end of the third quarter. Lithuania, however, battled back with an 11-2 run that made it 54-50 going into the fourth quarter.

A three-pointer by Rimantas Kaukenas made it a one-point game at 54-53 before the Russians recovered. Mozgov and Kirilenko did not suffer the shooting woes of the rest. Kirilenko made five of eight from the floor, and Mozgov was good on six of 11 shots.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week