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Tuesday Olympics recap: Spain wins but gets a reason to worry

Jul 31, 2012, 10:02 PM EDT

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We’ve told you about the big games of the day… well the one big game — France’s minor but key upset of Argentina — and the other big game for us, the expected USA rout of Tunisia.

But there were four other games played in London on Tuesday that you didn’t watch. That’s why we’re here for you. Because we care.

Here is a recap of Tuesday’s action.

Spain 82, Australia 70: Spain improves to 2-0 in Group B behind 20 points from Pau Gasol, pretty much as expected. The biggest news out of this game is that Spanish point guard and team captain Juan Carlos Navarro missed the game with a foot injury. He has long battled plantar fasciitis and if it flairs up and he can’t play in the medal rounds that could be a big hinderance for Spain.

Russia 73, China 54: This was not the prettiest game at the start — China opened up shooting 6-of-19, Russia 7-of-18. But the Russians found their range thanks to another big game from Andrei Kirilenko who had 16 points. Russia improves to 2-0 in Group B, tied with Brazil and Spain, and they look not only like a team that will advance to the medal round but a team that will be a tough out. China is now 0-2 despite 16 points and 7 boards from Yi Jianlian.

Brazil 67, Great Britain 62: This one was a whole lot closer than expected, in fact it was tied 27-27 at the half. Luol Deng is trying to do a little bit of everything for the host Brits and he almost had a deceiving triple-double with 12 points, 8 boards and 7 assists — but he shot 1-of-11 at one point and seemed to be holding them back. Then when they needed him late he knocked down a couple hero-ball threes to get it close. However, Brazil held on in part because of the 21 points from power forward Marcus Vieira. Brazil also is 2-0 on group play while the hosts are looking for their first win.

Lithuania 72, Nigeria 53: Both of these teams are now 1-1 in the middle of a crowded Group A (although Nigeria’s win came against lowly Tunisia and it is likely their only one). Lithuania led by double digits most of the way, although Nigeria chipped away at it near the half to make things look closer than they really were. Linus Kleiza had 13 points and six rebounds for Lithuania, while Sarunas Jasikevicius added nine points and nine assists.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Ike Diogu finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Nigeria, but as a team the Africans shot just 24 percent. And that will not get it done.

  1. collinschenk - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Why do you refer the the Nigerian team as “the Africans”? Maybe it was a thoughtless attempt at diversifying your word choice, but do you refer to the Lithuanians as the Europeans? Or the Chinese team as the Asians? Or the Argentines as the South Americans? Nigeria isn’t the only representative from the African continent, so that’s not an excuse. The issue of generalizing populations on the African continent as “African” may not show up much in the NBA blogosphere, but this misguided terminology is a sensitive issue for those who work in politicized and racially-sensitive global initiatives, including the Olympics.

    • Kurt Helin - Aug 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      The USA played Tunisia and Nigeria, the two qualifiers from Africa, back to back. I mean them as a unit with no disrespect. If the USA played all the Euro teams in a row I would refer to them as the Europeans. There was no disrespect intended.

  2. cancionisimas - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Navarro is a shooting guard. Not even remotely a combo guard and million miles away from being a point guard.

    And, yes, without him Spain has no chances for medals.

    • m41k7 - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:51 AM

      Agree with the fact that Navarro is a pure shooting guard, but even without him Spain is a contender for the medals, not for the gold, but I’d put my money on Spain earning the silver even if Navarro doesn’t play.

      By the way, I’m pretty sure he’s gonna play anyway, the guy is use to play with pain, we’re gonna see him soon.

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