Olympic Basketball 2012: Russia beats Spain 77-74 to remain undefeated

The Russians came into the 2012 Olympics under the radar. Led by former NBA star Andrei Kirilenko they have been overlooked for the most part as a team that could contend for a gold medal.

Russia proved today that they need to be taken seriously, beating the favorite Spanish team 77-74 and putting themselves in perfect position to finish pool play undefeated.

Trailing by two with 18 seconds left, Spain went to Pau Gasol who was fouled with five seconds left and had a chance to tie the game. Gasol missed the first free throw then made the second and that was all she wrote.

Vitaly Fridzon scored 24 points off the bench for Russia to lead them. Kirilenko scored just eight points to go with eight rebounds.

Pau Gasol led Spain with 20 points and five rebounds. Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez were the only two other Spanish players in double figures with 10 apiece.

Spain led 28-11 after the first quarter but struggled from three in the game going just 3-for-15 as Russia chipped away at their lead eventually coming all the way back.

The Russians were coming off a dramatic victory a few days ago in which they upset Brazil 75-74 on a last-second 3-pointer.

Russia will look to finish pool play undefeated playing Australia in two days. Russia has wrapped up the top seed in Pool B which means they will avoid the United States until a potential gold medal game.

Spain will play Brazil in their final game of pool play. Spain and Brazil both have just one loss so far in pool play and the winner of that game will finish as the second seed in Pool B.

There is a chance that both Spain and Brazil would prefer to lose that game so that they can avoid Team USA until a potential gold medal game. Brazil could throw their game later today against China and then also lose to Spain to in two days to secure the three seed.

Tags: 2012 Olympics Andrei Kirilenko Brazil Pau Gasol Russia Spain USA Basketball

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