|09 September 2006|
JR Holden scored 9 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as Russia held off Hungary to climb to the top of Group C on Saturday.
Russia's 76-70 win was the second on the trot after they suffered a shock defeat against Belgium.
Hungary got an outstanding performance from forward Marton Bader who exploded for 17 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. However, Bader fouled out in the final seconds and Hungary' challenge gradually petered out.
Although they led for the majority of the game, Russia were never able to assert any real dominance over the Hungarians who never trailed by more than 8 points.
Midway through the final period, Bader found an open Balázs Simon for a three-pointer and suddenly Hungary were within two points, 58-56.
But Holden answered for Russia with a three-point play, and three pointer from Sergey Monya and jump shot from Alexey Savrasenko put Russia back on top, 66-58.
Hungary's challenge was not quite over and Marton Fodor hit a three to cut the lead to four points, 67-63. But Holden drilled a three in reply and Hungary had to foul to stop the clock.
It was up to the Russians to close the game from free throw line, and that is exactly what happened. Russia kept their nerves, hitting 6/6 to claim victory.
Russia will look for revenge against Belgium on Wednesday while Hungary face Czech Republic.