Hosts Great Britain started well, but in the end fell to Russia 95-75 in their first Olympic game since 1948.
Andrei Kirilenko recorded 35 points and two blocks as Russia led by double-digits in the second quarter and never looked back.
Luol Deng led Team GB with 26 points with Pops Mensah-Bonsu adding 22. Joel Freeland secured a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Kirilenko’s new team-mate at the Minnesota Timberwolves Alexey Shved added 16 points and dished out 13 assists.
USA thrash France
Team USA’s quest for gold started with a convincing 98-71 victory over France.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points with Kevin Love adding 14 as USA used a 30-15 second quarter to pull away from Tony Parker’s French side.
Parker, himself was well contained despite a strong opening first quarter, he ended with 10 points. Ali Traore led the French with 12 points and five rebounds.
From the third quarter onwards the game went through the motions, following a first half played at lightening speed. USA led 62-43 with 4:49 remaining in the penultimate period and from there, the game was neevr in doubt.
Nigeria edge Tunisia in all African clash
Nigeria hung on to defeat Tunisia 60-56 in the first game of day two at the Olympic Basketball Arena.
After leading 31-15 at the half and forcing 12 turnovers out of the Afrobasket gold medallists, Nigeria looked to be breezing to victory. But Tunisia stormed back in the second half and mid-way through the fourth had cut the gap to just two points at 49-47.
Nigeria though hung on and made Al-Farouq Aminu made the game safe at the line to secure Nigeria’s first Olympic victory.
Alade Aminu led the Nigerians with 15 points supported by Ike Diogu’s 13 points. Tunisia, whose scorers woke up in the third and foruth quarters were led by Amine Rzig, who hit 18.
Brazil defeat Boomers
Brazil were victorious over Australia in an intriguing contest as the morning session came to a close.
Leandro Barbosa led the South Americans with 17 points as he inspired a series of runs that rocked the Aussies, who attempted to come back in the last period. But Brazil, led by Barbosa and Marcelinho Huertas sealed the win from the foul line.
Australia were led by Patty Mills, who had a game-high 20 points.
Spain start medal hunt with win against China
Spain were victorious against China 97-81 in the final game of the afternoon session.
The Eurobasket winners posted two game-changing runs to seal China’s fate, a 7-0 run in the second quarter and a 9-0 run in the fourth to take the score out to 78-62 just when China looked to be mounting a comeback.
Pau Gasol, Spain’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony led Spain with 21 points and 11 rebounds. China’s Yi Jianlian led all scorers with 30 points and he also pulled down 12 rebounds. Unfortunately for the latter, he got no help, slumping to defeat.
Argentina comfortable against Lithuania
Luis Scola was in irresistible form as he poured in 32 points to help Argentina ease to a 102-79 win over Lithuania.
Scola was supported by Manu Ginobili who hit 21 points and Carlos Delfino, who grabbed 20 points as Argentina extended their 51-39 half-time advantage further in the second half.
Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20 points.