Published July 31, 2012
Timberwolves fans have to be pleased from the partnership on display between Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved, who led Russia to their second straight easy victory to open the second day of the Olympics men's basketball tournament with a 73-54 win over China.
The Russians advance to 2-0 in group play, although against weak competition, while China is 0-2. China will likely need to win two of their final three games against Australia and Great Britain to advance as one of the top four teams in Group B.
The Russians pulled away from the start, scoring 20 or more points in each of the first three quarters while never allowing the Chinese to score more than 15. Yi Jianlian was still the heart of the Chinese offense, following up a 30 point effort in the team's first game with 16 points against Russia, but no other Chinese player reached double digits and the Russians never had reason to fear.
Kirilenko and Shved didn't put up the absolutely gaudy numbers they recorded in their Olympics opener against Great Britain - in that game, Kirilenko had a tournament-high 35 points while Shved added 16 points and 13 assists - but Kirilenko still notched 16 points and brought down nine boards while Shved had 15 and six assists. The pair already played together this year with CSKA Moscow, and both have signed with the Timberwolves in recent weeks. Their CSKA teammate and former Kansas big man Sasha Kaun added 13 points and six boards while Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov had ten points.