Two future Minnesota Timberwolves players got off to a brilliant start at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Sunday afternoon in London, as Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko each led Russia to a comfortable 95-75 win over Great Britain in their opening game.
The 6-foot-6 Shved signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Timberwolves on July 23, and gave fans a glimpse of his raw potential by dishing out 13 assists in Sunday's victory. The 23-year-old point guard also scored 16 points, grabbed three steals, hit a pair of three-pointers and still found time to haul down six rebounds in the win.
The unquestioned star of the game, however, was the versatile Kirilenko, who poured in a game-high 35 points on 13-for-15 shooting. Kirilenko blocked three shots on defense and utilized the lackadaisical Olympic foul limit by getting whistled seven times and staying in the game. With both men playing at an extremely high level right out of the gate, it appears the Russian team could be a sleeper to take down the Americans in this year's competition.