Quarterfinals of the London 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament

Timofey Mozgov came up big as Russia beat
Lithuania to advance to the semifinals.

In the first Olympic Basketball game played at the North Greenwich Arena, the Russians built a double-digit lead in the third quarter and held off several rallies by the Lithuanians to prevail.

It is the first time that Lithuania have not reached the Semi-Finals at the Olympics since they gained independence in 1990.

Andrei Kirilenko finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead five Russia players in double digits.

Rimantas Kaukenas paced Lithuania with 19 and Darius Songaila added 15 in his last game for the national team.

"It was a hard-fought, sportive battle between two teams that know each other well, players that have played together and against each other for years and coaches that have gone head to head," said Russia coach David Blatt.

"We're thankful we won the game. It was not easy. We fought our hearts out."

Blatt paid tribute to his team captain Sergei Monya, who shook off a shooting slump to make the big shots down the stretch.

"Sergey Monya, our captain, is the face of everything we do, the face of Russia. He has played in every game for Russia in the seven years I have been with the team. He came up the biggest at the right time. He made the two biggest shots of the game and maybe of our career together."

SPAIN over FRANCE, 66-59
Spain pulled away from France in the fourth quarter of their quarterfinal match to register a win and set up a semifinal showdown with Russia.

In a re-match of last year's EuroBasket Final, the Spaniards trailed 53-51 at the end of the third quarter, but went ahead midway through the final frame and held on to the lead for good.

Pau Gasol blocked a Nando De Colo lay-up attempt and it resulted into a fastbreak dunk for Sergio Llull at the other end to make it 58-57 with 5:35 left to play. Both teams went cold for the next four minutes until Rudy Fernandez made a pair of free throws, 60-57. He then blocked Tony Parker on the next trip down and France was whistled for a shotclock violation. Spain then used its height advantage with Pau feeding his brother, Marc Gasol, for a lay-up and a 62-57 advantage with 45 seconds remaining.

The two-time European champions remain on track to reach the Final like they did in 2008. Marc Gasol was Spain's high man with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Afterwards, Spanish Coach Sergio Scariolo talked about the sense of accomplishment for his team.

"We are extremely satisfied and proud to be in the Semi-Finals of the Olympics. This was very tough," he said. "To score was not easy tonight. In the second half we were able to raise the level of our defense, we had great second and third efforts from our players. We deserve it at the end of the day because the effort and intensity was remarkable."

France captain Boris Diaw, who finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists, praised his team's defensive effort.

"We fought well. I'm proud of the players and the team. We gave it our all," he said. "We had problems scoring in the fourth quarter. But we still had chances in the end."

Marc Gasol gets a big hug as the Spaniards repeat over
the French in the Olympic quarterfinals.

Argentina beat Brazil in Wednesday's third quarterfinal match to reach the Olympic semifinals for the third time in a row.

Luis Scola had 17 points and Manu Ginobili added 16 to go along with eight rebounds and three assists. Carlos Delfino also had 16 points, as five players scored in double-digits for Julio Lamas' side.

Delfino and Scola combined for 24 of Argentina's points over the first two quarters, while Marcelinho Huertas took Brazil's scoring load on his shoulders with 17 points by halftime.

After the intermission, Argentina pulled away as Ginobili and Andres Nocioni took over the scoring load. They also got a lending hand from Juan Gutierrez for their biggest lead of the game.

Argentina reached the Olympic semis in 2004, on their way to winning gold, and in 2008, when they had to settle for bronze.

"We fight hard. We know each other very well. We've got experience. We've been here multiple times. Regardless, Brazil is a tough opponent. It was very tough to score on them in the second half," Ginobili said afterwards.

Ruben Magnano, who eight years ago coached Argentina to its gold medal in Athens, said his Brazil team should be proud of what it did, appearing in the Men's Olympic Basketball for the first time since 1996.

"When these players go out on the court, they do the best to represent Brazil. This was our best game of the tournament," he said.

Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino form a top-tier
backcourt combo for Team Argentina.

USA over AUSTRALIA, 119-86
Reigning Olympic and World Champions United States advanced to the round of four after beating Australia. The USA led 56-42 at the half and, shortly after the Boomers used an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 56-53, the Americans scored nine unanswered points of their own for a 72-58 advantage.

Having re-established a double-digit lead, they held on to it and stretched it the rest of the way to set up a semis showdown with Argentina. The two teams met at this stage of the competition four years ago in Beijing.

Kobe Bryant finished with a team-high 20 points - on six three-pointers and two free-throws - while LeBron James quietly went about putting together a triple-double of 11 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

Aussie Patty Mills led all scorers with 26 points and compatriot Joe Ingles added 19.

Afterwards, Team USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about the keys to the game.

"We played well in first half except for some times when we didn't get back and Australia got 10 or 12 transition points from that," he said. “We got off to a bad start in the third quarter, but my guys stuck with it. Offensive rebounding was a big factor, Kevin Love had eight of them."

Bryant raved about a couple of Australian players.

"They played very well. We knew they were going to be very tough and physical," he said. "Mills is getting better and better and (David) Andersen is a hell of a player."

Asked about his three-point exhibition, Bryant simply said: "We get a lot of easy shots. I was in a good rhythm, I had some daylight to shoot them and made them."

He also commended James for his rare feat.

"I remember back in 1992, Scottie Pippen was close to a triple-double in most games. LeBron has a nose for the ball and makes great plays," he said.

Kobe Bryant hit SIX threes as Team USA rallied past
the Aussies for a semifinals ticket.

Source: All images and recaps are from london2012.fiba.com.

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