The Australian Boomers have continued their winning form, this time picking up an impressive win over Team USA.
Patty Mills was once again the standout for the Australians, finishing with 22 points including a series of tough buckets in the fourth quarter.
For Team USA, a sputtering start to their campaign has continued, losing their second straight game after falling to Nigeria on the weekend.
Australia have now beaten Team USA twice in a row after their historic win in Melbourne back in August 2019. Let's jump to some of the takeaways from today's game.
Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Matisse Thybulle all come up big in the @aus_boomers victory over #USABMNT in exhibition play to prepare for Tokyo.@Patty_Mills: 22 PTS (10 in 4th)@Joeingles7: 17 PTS, 3 3PM@MatisseThybulle: 12 PTS, 3 STL, 2 BLK pic.twitter.com/InXEGZmykS- NBA (@NBA) July 13, 2021
Boomers Patty always shows up
Set to be a flag bearer for the Australian Olympic Team in Tokyo, it's hardly a surprise Patty Mills is a sporting legend in Australia when he continuously delivers big time performances in the green and gold.
Coming off a game winning triple against Argentina, Mills once again took over down the stretch in this one, holding off a surging USA squad as Kevin Durant threatened to catch fire.
Trailing 82-80 with just over four minutes to play, Mills found himself guarded by Durant on a switch. Backing out beyond the 3-point line, Mills drove to the basket, drawing contact and knocking down both attempts.
After Durant missed a three, Mills went straight back at the Brooklyn superstar, blowing by for an easy lay-up.
On the next possession, he drew two USA defenders before sizzling a pass to Matisse Thybulle under the basket for another two and all of a sudden Australia had opened up an 86-82 edge that would never be lost.
Overall, Mills dropped 10 points in the final 5:46 of play, once again proving he is one of the best performances on the FIBA International basketball stage.
Defensive concerns for USA?
Like all countries, the USA squad will continue to work through chemisty as a new squad assembles, though there has been some troubling signs on the defensive end.
The above mentioned perimeter onslaught from Mills was combined with a number of easy lay-ups for Australian players ducking to the basket and making the most of poor communication or effort.
Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker are expected to join the squad at the end of the NBA Finals, with the inclusion of Holiday in particular set to significantly boost the defensive prowess of Team USA.
It must be said though, the squad is already filled with All-Star caliber talent as it is and they would be looking to lock down defensively in the remaining exhibition games.
Thybulle swats KD
Talk about making a statement in your early days of representing the green and gold.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle was at his pestering best on the defensive end again in this one, registering three steals and two blocks.
While the Aussies have a number of capable perimeter defenders, Thybulle is a next level elite talent on that end, significantly raising the sealing for what the squad could achieve in Tokyo.
There was no better example of this then late in the fourth quarter when Durant drove the middle of the lane to rise for a trademark short jumper. Thybulle stuck with Durant the entire way, rising up and blocking his shot in a defensive move not many players across the world are capable of.
🇦🇺 @MatisseThybulle with the DENIAL 🚫- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) July 13, 2021
LIVE BLOG: https://t.co/0NEcWBXHzn pic.twitter.com/K0C5PWJfWo
If Thybulle continues to play at this level it's safe to say he will quickly become a favourite of Australians that may not be up to date with his exploits as a Sixer in the NBA.
Lillard heats up
One of the positives to come from the night for Team USA was the shooting of Damian Lillard, with the Portland Trail Blazer pouring in 22 points on 6-for-11 shooting from long range in 30 minutes.
During a stretch in the second quarter, the Americans threatened to run away with the game, with a series of deep triples leaving the Australian defence helpless.
It wasn't a perfect night for Lillard, with five turnovers leaving him with plenty to work on, but it was a nice reminder of the firepower this squad will have if players like himself and Durant and Beal all get cooking at the same time.
16 PTS, 4 3PM for Damian Lillard at the break! #PhantomCam#USABMNT leads Australia 46-37 on NBC Sports Network & https://t.co/HbtDcrFgfZ. pic.twitter.com/2CZm0VRIXb- NBA (@NBA) July 13, 2021
Banged up Baynes
It's hardly a surprise to see Australian big man Aron Baynes in pain on the court. Known for his physical presence and style of play, Baynes came up sore early in the first quarter after appearing to bang knees with Bradley Beal.
The starting center briefly went to the locker room before returning the bench soon after. He would not return and clock just three minutes of court time but long time Aussie teammate Joe Ingles did provide an "official" update to the media postgame.
From the post-match presser:- Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) July 13, 2021
How's Aron Baynes?
Dr Joe Ingles: "He's fine"
CG43 finds the range
A veteran of the Australian National Team, Melbourne United guard Chris Goulding remains one of the best shooters in the country.
Goulding added 11 points in just nine minutes of court time including 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc with none better then his lightening quick release to beat the third quarter buzzer.
CG43 IS COOKING 🔥- The NBL (@NBL) July 13, 2021
Boomers lead 👀@MelbUnitedHQ @ESPNAusNZ 😂 pic.twitter.com/p1Qixg7pKV
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