Basketball: Team GB record first Olympic victory since 1848 after thrashing China
Great Britain 90 China 58
Monday 06 August 2012
Great Britain recorded their first Olympic victory in basketball since 1948 as they routed China in their final Group B game in London.
In what coach Chris Finch said would be his last game in charge, he got one over his old BBL rival and current China coach Bob Donewald with a comfortable win.
Kieron Achara had an outstanding game for Britain with 16 points, making the most of extended playing time as Luol Deng slipped into early foul trouble and Pops Mensah-Bonsu sat with an injury.
Britain, needing to shake off the feel of Saturday night's dismal collapse against Australia, fell into an early 7-0 hole when Wang Shipeng hit a three for China.
But from there, they dominated. Nate Reinking, who along with Robert Archibald was playing his last game for Britain, tied it up 10-10 with a three-pointer and Britain had the edge on the first of Achara's threes to make it 13-12.
Achara moved into double figures late in the first quarter with a pair of free throws before Dan Clark's jumper gave them a 27-15 edge.
Reinking's three made it 32-15 before China reeled off seven straight points, but Britain soon reestablished their lead with Achara's three making it 39-24.
Yet another three from Andrew Lawrence gave Britain a 46-31 lead at half-time.
China scored quick points through Zhou Peng and Yi Jianlian to start the second half, but Drew Sullivan's three midway through the third kept Britain's lead comfortable at 57-42.
Deng, who had for extended periods due to foul trouble, got his first points of the game with 5:13 left in the third period.
Reinking's three pushed the lead to 20, 65-45, late in the third and not long after Kyle Johnson swished a shot from the corner to make it 70-45.
Both Reinking and Sullivan - the two remaining players who have been with the modern British Basketball programme from the very start - had strong showings with Reinking scoring 12 and Sullivan 11.
Joel Freeland reached 10 despite also battling foul trouble, and Eric Boateng also had 10. Archibald had eight in his final game.
Wang led China with 11 and Yi had 10.
The atmosphere was oddly subdued in the fourth quarter, with the game a blowout and the significance of the result in British Basketball history likely lost on large portions of the crowd.
Britain's only other Olympic win in history came the last time London hosted the Games as they beat Ireland 46-21.
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