| London: Russian men flew out of the blocks at the Olympic basketball tournament here Sunday, pounding hosts Great Britain 95-75.
Russia, featuring NBA stars Andrei Kirilenko, Timofey Mozgov and Alexey Shved, seldom allowed Great Britain within 10 points after the first half.
Kirilenko, who this week returned to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves, top-scored for the Russians with 35 points.
Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls lead Britain with 26.
The Russians, coached by David Blatt, exposed the gulf in class quickly, outscoring the British 24-19 and 25-15 in the first two quarters.
Britain passed up the chance to cut the lead to just eight points in the third quarter, missing two free throws through Deng.
Britain won the quarter 24-22 to give the home crowd something to cheer.
The fourth opened with Deng missing off the glass only for Alexey Shved to put a lob pass up for Kirilenko to dunk.
It was a passage of play that summed up the hosts` evening.
A Kirilenko three-pointer dropped with six minutes remaining to set the score at 81-62 and head off any chance of a comeback.
Next in Group B, Russia face China, then Spain, Brazil and Australia.
Britain play Brazil.
Earlier in the group, Spain beat China 97-81 with Pau Gasol leading the way with 21 points.
In Group A`s two games, meanwhile, the Americans thrashed a talented France 98-71 with Kevin Durant hitting 22 points, and Nigeria beat Tunisia 60-56.
First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012, 13:11