By Paul Garcia, Project Spurs.com
With 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Russia and Brazil were tied at 72 points. Brazilian guard Marcelinho Huertas, who had sat nine minutes of the fourth quarter, drove down the left lane with two defenders on him and made a circus layup to give the Brazilians a 74-72 lead with 6 seconds remaining.
With one last chance to tie or take the lead, Aleksey Shved delivered a pass from out-of-bounds to Vitaliy Fridzon in the left corner. Leandro Barbosa was guarding Fridzon, but even after Barbosa dove to block Fridzon, the shot was already in the air and as it pierced through the net, the game was essentially over. Russia remained undefeated in Olympic Group B pool play with a 75-74 victory over Brazil.
Brazil was led by Barbosa (16 points) and Larry Taylor (12 points); but on a day when Brazil’s main weapons Huertas (8 points) and San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter (8 points) struggled, Russia’s stars shined as Andrei Kirilenko led Russia with 19 points, Denver Nuggets forward Timofey Mozgov added 18 points, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie-to-be Shved posted 17 points and six assists, none more critical than Shved’s late 3-pointer to keep Russia in striking distance in the final minute.
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