Great Britain’s men beat China 90-54 in their final group game in London to take their first  Olympic Games win since 1948 in what was Chris Finch’s last game in charge.

Kieron Achara led all scorers with 16 points, Nate Reinking – who is retiring from international competition – had 12 and Drew Sullivan 11. Rob Archibald, who is also retiring, signed off with 10 points and 9 rebounds.

“This was an amazing game, an amazing feeling to get this win in front of very passionate fans and have stood by us throughout,” said GB forward Joel Freeland.

“China were tough and very quick so we had to be ready for that and we concentrated on our strengths and played to that really.

“This was a great experience, right before I go to the NBA so to say I represented my country at an Olympic Games and in London, is a overwhelming feeling. Very, very proud.”

After China had jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, Great Britain came storming back to tie the game. China briefly took the lead again but then GB went on a 20-5 run the rest of the quarter, posting a 27-15 lead thanks in part to the outside shooting of Achara.

GB had starters in foul trouble, but it allowed the reserves to get plenty of court time and they responded by increasing the lead over China to 46-31 at the half.

Having squandered a lead in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Australia, GB ensured there would no repeat this time around. Baskets from Joel Freeland and Drew Sullivan, along with defensive pressure at the other end of the floor quickly snuffed out any hopes of a China comeback.

Leading 72-48 going into the final quarter, both sides struggled offensively for a stretch, but GB were able to run up the big win thanks to Eric Boateng and Kyle Johnson making a number of baskets towards the end.

“We wanted to come out and make history,” said GB coach Finch. “Our guys were up for that challenge. It’s what we needed. It’s what the basketball community in general needed. We’re very proud.

“We had a couple of guys who were playing the last games in their career tonight and I thought they were quite inspirational tonight. And our team did a really good job of feeding off the energy of guys like Kieron.”

It was his last game after seven years at the helm, he confirmed.

“It’s highly likely that this will be my last game here but the focus now should be on our players,” Finch added. “The odyssey has been an amazing one. The challenge was to build something. That’s why I took the job.

“I never thought I’d still be here in seven years. I always laugh when people say we were given our spot in the Olympics. It didn’t feel like that when we had to battle though Division B and qualify for EuroBasket in 2009.

“We achieved a lot of things and kept proving ourselves and that’s the most satisfying thing.”

Victories elsewhere for the USA, Brazil, Spain, France and Australia means the quarter-final line-up is:

Russia v Lithuania, France v Spain, Brazil v Argentina, USA v Australia


Other Games: Australia 82-80 Russia, Tunisia 63-76 Lithuania, Nigeria 73-79 France, Spain 82-88 Brazil, USA 97-126 Argentina 

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