Brazil are showing nerves of steel as they escaped with another thrilling victory after defeat host Great Britain, 67-62, to take their second-straight win in as many games in the ongoing men’s basketball competition of the 2012 London Olympics.
NBA center Tiago Splitter had a huge night as he finished with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field and also grabbed team-high six rebounds for Brazil, who struggled to find their rhythm early in the game before managing to keep their composure down the stretch.
Looking very determined to take a huge win against a favored opponent, Great Britain erased the early 4-0 lead of Brazil with an 11-0 run to end the first period with an 11-4 lead in a rusty quarter for both squads.
But after a so-so performance in the first period, Brazil played with more sense of urgency in the second period to force a 27-27 deadlock at the half, before building a 48-43 lead heading into the final quarter.
The two teams went toe-to-toe in the final period.
British star Luol Deng hit back-to-back three pointers to five Great Britain a 57-56 lead with exactly four minutes left in the game, but Brazil unleashed a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead, a run that virtually sealed the win and saved them from an upset defeat.
Marcelinho Huertas had a solid game for Brazil as well, finishing with 13 points and eight assists, while Marcus Vieira and Anderson Varejao added eight points apiece, with the former grabbing six boards to go with two steals.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu, on the other hand, had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Great Britain, while Deng added 12 points and eight rebounds to go with seven assists, but it was not enough to give the host a breakout victory in the 2012 London Games.
Great Britain will continue their hunt for the elusive first win on Thursday, but it won’t be easy since they will be up against powerhouse Spain, while Brazil will try to make it three-straight when they collide with Russia, who are also undefeated in the tournament.