2012 Olympics: Russia beats Argentina 81-77 to bring home the bronze medal

Russia beat Argentina 81-77 in the bronze medal game early Sunday morning behind 25 points by Alexey Shved and 20 from Andrei Kirilenko.

Shved made 6-of-11 threes in the game after struggling with his shot for most of the Olympics and also had seven assists and five boards. Kirilenko made 8-of-12 shots in the game to go with eight rebounds and two blocks.

Shved and Kirilenko will both be coming to the NBA next season to play with the Minnesota Timberwolves and did a great job here in London leading their team to the bronze medal.

Argentina’s loss here signifies the end of an era. Argentina was the one team that challenged the United States more than anyone in basketball and even won the gold medal back in 2004.

This will surely be the last Olympics for veterans Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino. Ginobili scored 21 points and made four threes in the loss. Scola had 11 points and Delfino played the entire game and scored 15.

Andres Nocioni, who also may be playing in his last Olympics for his country, had 16 points.

It wasn’t enough though for Argentina who just wasn’t quite what they once were in these Olympics. They made 13-of-33 threes in the game but didn’t do enough on defense as Russia shot 50.9 percent for the game.

Vitaliy Fridzon came off the bench and was huge for Russia scoring 19 points. Fridzon was also instrumental earlier in the Olympics with 24 points off the bench when Russia upset Spain in pool play.

Russia’s win here caps off an impressive run for them in the Olympics. Led by head coach David Blatt Russia looks like a country that will be around the top of international basketball play for years to come.

Argentina will have to reload but it’s hard to see where that talent will be coming from.

The United States and Spain will play in the gold medal game at 10 a.m. EST on NBC this morning.

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Tags: 2012 Olympics Alexey Shved Andrei Kirilenko Andres Nocioni Argentina Bronze Medal Game Carlos Delfino Luis Scola Manu Ginobili Russia

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