Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Spain's Pau Gasol (4) scores as Russia's Andrei Kirilenko (15) defends during a semifinal men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, pool)
Olympics: Kirilenko, Russia come up short vs. Spain in semis
Olympics » Former Jazzman scores just 10 points as Spain moves on to Gold Medal game
First Published Aug 10 2012 12:29 pm • Last Updated Sep 04 2012 04:39 pm

London • The horn sounded, and Andrei Kirilenko slumped near the free-throw line, frustrated and disappointed and dragging a bad leg.

He will not be playing for a gold medal at the London Olympics.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Instead, Spain earned a shot at the top prize - probably in a rematch of the 2008 final against the United States - by storming back against Kirilenko and his Russian team to win a men’s basketball semifinal game 67-59 at the O2 Arena on Friday.

The former Jazz star and three-time Olympian hardly figured, either, despite his 10 points and eight rebounds.

Playing with what coach David Blatt said was a quadriceps injury, Kirilenko mostly wandered around the edge of the action for most of the game, seldom getting involved and enduring a miserable shooting night. He made just 2 of 12 shots, and missed 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute as the Russians scrambled futilely to save the game.

"We lost our composure, defensively," Kirilenko said. "We stopped being aggressive on the defensive end."

Indeed, the Russians frustrated Spain in an ugly first half, holding them to 21 percent shooting while building a 31-20 lead.

After halftime, though, Spain did it all - running and gunning past the Russians at every turn.

Center Pau Gasol scored 16 points, and point guard Jose Calderon scored 12 of his 14 in the second half, including a game-tying three-pointer at the third-quarter horn that energized the crowd and helped Spain pull away.

"We knew we could do it," Calderon said. "This team is unbelievable."

story continues below
story continues below

The Spaniards await the winner of the late semifinal between the U.S. and Argentina, which is a 23 1/2-point underdog, according to oddsmakers. The Americans have won two meetings in the last 17 days.

Meanwhile, Kirilenko must find a way to bounce back for the bronze-medal game on Sunday against the loser of the other semifinal. He said his leg is fine, but he was clearly limping at the end. He had been leading the Russians in scoring at 18.3 points per game, and Blatt said "we needed him out there."

"It’s a tough loss," Kirilenko said, "but we wanted to get back for a medal. It doesn’t matter which kind of medal. We have one more chance and we’ll try to do it.

"Looking at the second half," he said, "Spain deserve to be in the final. Looking at the first half, we’re supposed to be there."


Twitter: @MCLTribune

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.