Russia beats Spain 77-74 in men's Olympic hoops

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Associated Press

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 4 at 8:00 AM

LONDON (AP) — Timofey Mozgov made the tiebreaking dunk with 18 seconds left, Vitaliy Fridzon scored 24 points and unbeaten Russia edged Spain 77-74 on Saturday and take first place in Group B of the Olympic men's basketball tournament.

Russia now also avoids the United States — if the Americans win Group A as expected — until the gold-medal game if both teams advance in the medal round.

Fridzon, the hero of Russia's victory over Brazil on Thursday, made the clinching free throws with 4.8 seconds left after the Russians had charged back from an 18-point deficit.

Anton Ponkrashov scored 14 points and Mozgov had 12 for the Russians, down 20-2 in the first quarter and still trailing by nine with under 4½ minutes left.

Pau Gasol scored 20 points for Spain (3-1), but missed the first of two free throws with 5.2 seconds left and the Spaniards trailing by two.

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