London 2012 basketball: Spain beats France in men's quarterfinals

In an Olympic men's quarterfinal game that turned chippy at the end, the Spaniards advanced into the semifinals with a seven-point victory over the neighboring French in London.

Mike Segar/REUTERS
France's Nicolas Batum (L) is held back by officals after a hard foul in his game against Spain at their men's quarterfinal basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 8.

Spain broke open a fierce defensive battle in the final minute to beat France, 66-59, and reach the semi-finals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament in a bad-tempered contest that threatened to turn into a brawl.

Back-to-back fouls for unsportsmanlike behavior were assessed against France's Ronny Turiaf and Nicolas Batum after hard hits at the end of the game, and players from both teams had to be restrained by officials from going after each other.

The victory put Spain into the semi-finals against Russia, who beat Lithuania 83-74 in the opening quarter-final.

Spain and Russia will meet on Friday with the winners advancing to the gold medal game and the losers playing for bronze on Sunday.

Marc Gasol led Spain with 14 points, while Tony Parker and Boris Diaw scored 15 points apiece to pace France.

The United States plays Australia, and South American rivals Brazil and Argentina meet in Wednesday's later quarter-finals.

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