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Russia crash Iran 71-49 in men's basketball debut
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European champions Russia crashed Asian champions Iran 71-49 in the opener of the men's basketball competitions in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the Wukesong Stadium on Sunday.

Dzhon-Robert Kholden led Russia with 19 points, five steals, three assists and three rebounds, while Utah Jazz's forward Andrey Kirilenko added 15 points, five rebounds and three blocks to dominate the game.

The quicker and stronger Europeans scored 42 points in the paint and forced out 22 turnovers from Iran in the Group A match.

Mohammad Nikkhah led Iran with 16 points while Mahdi Kamrany chipped in 11.

The Germans set the tone of the game in the first quarter as they suffocated Iran only five points in the first 10 minutes to lead 24-5.

Iran began their long-way rally from the second quarter and managed to cut the lead to 46-38 to enter the fourth quarter.

Russia used a 14-6 run to make it 60-44 on Sergey Bykov's 3-pointer 4:42 minutes into the quarter.

(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2008)

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