Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Spain defeats Australia 82-70
ESPN.com news services
LONDON -- Pau Gasol scored 20 points to lead Spain to a 82-70 victory over Australia in the men's Olympic basketball tournament on Tuesday.
Rudy Fernandez added 17 points for Spain, silver medalists at the Beijing Games after losing in the final to the United States.
The Spaniards have several NBA players on their roster, including the 7-foot Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), his 7-1 brother Marc (Memphis Grizzlies) and 6-10 Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Marc Gasol added 12 points for Spain (2-0). Australia fell to 0-2.
Spain scored the first eight points of the third quarter and went on a 16-4 run keyed by Pau Gasol and Fernandez.
Spain played without captain and one of its leading scorers, guard Juan Carlos Navarro. He has been nursing a left-foot injury the entire year.
Joe Ingles and Brad Newley led Australia with 12 points each.
Russia 73, China 54
Andrei Kirilenko scored 16 points to lead Russia to a win over China Tuesday.
Kirilenko, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves last week, also had nine rebounds as Russia (2-0) easily handed China its second defeat in Group B. The former Utah Jazz standout is averaging 25.5 points in Russia's first two games.
Russia went on a 10-0 run to open a 20-10 lead and was never really challenged the rest of the game.
Guard Alexey Shved finished with 14 points for Russia and center Sasha Kaun added 13.
Yi Jianlian, a forward with the Washington Wizards, had 16 points and seven rebounds and was the only China (0-2) player to score in double figures.
Russia pounded China on the boards and finished with a 46-29 rebounding advantage.
Lithuania 72, Nigeria 53
Darius Songaila scored 12 points and Linas Kleiza added 11 to help Lithuania beat Nigeria Tuesday for its first victory in the men's Olympic tournament.
Rimantas Kaukenas finished with 10 points for Lithuania, which bounced back from an opening loss to Argentina. Nigeria fell to 1-1 after opening the tournament with a win over Tunisia.
Lithuania has a long basketball pedigree that includes three Olympic bronze medals, while Nigeria is making its first Olympic appearance in men's basketball.
Nigeria shot just 24 percent from the field and made only one of its 16 three-point attempts.
Lithuania led 34-27 at halftime and steadily increased its margin throughout the third quarter.
Al-Farouq Aminu of the New Orleans Hornets and Ike Diogu had double-doubles for Nigeria. Aminu had 12 points and 11 rebounds; Diogu finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Brazil 67, Britain 62
Tiago Splitter scored 21 points to help Brazil escape with an unexpectedly close win over host Britain Tuesday.
Britain came close to winning its first Olympic game since 1948 but Splitter, who plays with the San Antonio Spurs, hit a key layup off a pinpoint pass in traffic from Marcelinho Huertas to make it 65-59.
Luol Deng was then fouled on a three-point attempt, but hit only one of his free throws. Britain did not foul and Brazil ran 20 seconds off the clock before Deng fouled Huertas -- who sank two free throws with 11 seconds left to seal the game.
Huertas finished with 13 points and eight assists.
Deng, who plays with the Chicago Bulls, missed his first six shots and had 12 points on 3 for 13 shooting. Nate Reinking added 13 points for Britain and Pops Mensah-Bonsu finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.