Olympics: Russians beat Lithuania to reach semi-finals

Andrei Kirilenko scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Russia over Lithuania 83-74 and into the semi-finals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament on Wednesday.

Russia will play the winner of a later game between France and reigning European champion Spain in a semi-final on Friday.

Other quarter-finals pit Brazil against Argentina and Australia against the unbeaten US NBA Dream Team.

Vitaliy Fridzon and Timofey Mozgov each scored four points in an 11-1 Russian run to close the first quarter and give the Russians a 17-10 lead on their way to a 32-27 half-time edge.

Victor Khryapa scored five points, Kirilenko added four and Mozgov had a 3-point play in a 12-2 Russian run over the middle of the third quarter, boosting Russia's advantage to 46-32.

But Lithuania scored 11 points in a row to pull back within 54-53, the run capped by a Rimantas Kaukenas 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter.

The Russians answered with an 8-0 run, captain Sergey Monya hitting a 3-pointer and a fast break layup in the spurt, which brought a 64-55 edge with 5:46 to play.

Lithuania pulled within five points before Kirilenko completed a 3-point play with 1:42 remaining to stretch Russia's advantage to 77-69. Fridzon and Kirilenko added late free throws to seal the Russian triumph.

Kaukenas led Lithuania with 19 points.

Lithuania beat the Unified Team representing 12 of 15 former Soviet republics to win bronze in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Lithuania, which declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, also took Olympic bronze in 1996 and 2000 but lost bronze-medal games in 2004 and 2008.


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