Russia Defeats Argentina 81-77, Wins Bronze Medal

The Russian national team won its first Olympic medal in men’s basketball with an 81-77 win over Argentina on Sunday. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Alexey Shved scored 25 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points to help Russia prevail. Via “Manu Ginobili scored 21 and 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. But this tournament ended with Argentina’s players without a medal and looking for an explanation. ‘This is one of the most painful defeats of my life,’ Ginobili said. Fridzon’s layup with 5.2 seconds left sealed it for Russia, which came away with the ball after it changed hands several times near midcourt. When the game ended, several Argentine players surrounded referees Bill Kennedy, Jose Carrion and Juan Arteaga in protest and guard Pablo Prigioni kicked an electronic clock off the scorer’s table in disgust. A water bottle was thrown on the court that appeared to come from the stands. As the final seconds ticked off, Russia’s players piled on each other near one foul line while Argentina’s swarmed Kennedy and the other officials, screaming and demanding answers.”