Spain’s players were congratulated by Prince Felipe before they left the court.
The Spaniards had led Russia by 18 points in the first half of their Preliminary Round encounter but ended up falling by three points.
The Russians, having seen France push Spain to the limit in the Quarter-Finals with an outstanding defensive effort, adopted the same strategy.
David Blatt’s team stamped its authority on the game from the off, holding Spain to just four points in the opening five minutes and nine in the first quarter.
Led by captain Sergey Monya, who made all three of his shots from the arc, Russia went in front by 13 before taking a 31-20 lead to half-time.
"I thought we might have played one of our best halves of basketball ever," said Russia coach David Blatt.
"We forced them to shoot 36% (22% in the first half) from two, which is a tremendous stat.
Ignited by their defense, including that of Rudy Fernandez, Spain roared back in the third quarter.
"We were just playing the first half with too much tension, too much anxiety," said Pau Gasol.
"It seemed like the rim was getting smaller and smaller with every shot that we missed."
Not panicking was part of Spain coach Sergio Scariolo's halftime team talk.
"We refreshed our game-plan, which we didn't implement in the first half," he said.
Anton Ponkrashov, who has been terrific for Russia this summer, nailed a free-throw line jumper but Jose Calderon's three-pointer tied the game at 46-46 at the end of the third quarter.
After a long baseline jumper from Russia center Timofey Mozgov, Pau Gasol replied with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 44-41.
Following a Monya miss, Gasol followed a Felipe Reyes miss with a dunk to cut the deficit to one.
A Ponkrashov three-point play put Russia back in front but Spain weren't to be denied.
They answered with a 9-0 run.
"In the second half they found their rhythm," said Ponkrashov.
"They moved the ball well and scored tough three-point shots.
"We lost our rhythm on offense."
After Kirilenko collected his fourth foul while battling for rebound and Calderon gave Spain a 51-49 advantage with a shot from the arc with 7:19 to go in the fourth quarter.
Spain kept up the defensive pressure, forcing Russia to turn the ball over 13 times in the second half after committing just three in the first.
The Spaniards pulled away for an impressive victory.
"It makes it extremely enjoyable to have done this in such a difficult situation," said Scariolo in the press conference.
"This doesn't mean that our mission is over."
Pau Gasol had 16 points, Calderon 14 and Marc Gasol and Fernandez 11 apiece for Spain.
Sasha Kaun’s 14 points led Russia.
|P||GASOL 16||KAUN 14|
|RB||GASOL 12||KIRILENKO 8|
|A||NAVARRO 3||SHVED 7|
|S||GASOL 1||KIRILENKO 2|
|B||GASOL 2||KIRILENKO 3|
(W/L: 4-2 )
|Points for (avg)||80|
|Points against (avg)||75,5|
|2 Points FG||51,5%|
|3 Points FG||31,4%|
(W/L: 5-1 )
|Points for (avg)||80,5|
|Points against (avg)||72,2|
|2 Points FG||56%|
|3 Points FG||34%|
|11||F. San Emeterio||SG||197/6'6"|