Future Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexei Shved scored 25 points – 13 in the fourth quarter – and lead Russia who won its first medal in Olympic men’s basketball with an 81-77 win on Sunday over Argentina, whose players confronted the referees after the final horn following a wild scramble in the closing seconds.
Another incoming Minnesota Timberwolves player Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and Vitaliy Fridzon 19 for Russia, which finished ninth at the Beijing Games four years ago.
San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili scored 21 and NBA free agent Andres Nocioni 16 for Argentina, which was looking to add another bronze to its Olympic collection after winning one in China and gold eight years ago in Athens.
Fridzon’s layup with 5.2 seconds left sealed if for Russia, which came away with the ball after it changed hands several times near midcourt. When the game ended, several Argentine players had surrounded the officials to protest and guard Pablo Prigioni kicked an electronic clock off the scorer’s table.
This was a huge win for Russia beating one of the better team in international play. The USA and Spain face off at 10am eastern for the Gold medal.
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