Australis have got their Olympic campaign off to a solid start with a win over Nigeria in a sloppy and fast-paced affair.
IT'S GAME DAY! The Boomers are set to face @NigeriaBasket in Game 1 tonight!
Who's pumped?!#Tokyo2020#Basketball pic.twitter.com/PAQWGQtcHm
— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) July 24, 2021
The clash was a sloppy scrap that saw both teams combine for an outrageous 46 turnovers, 22 of which were committed by the Boomers.
It was quite clear that Australia was having issues contending with the NBA heavy line-up Nigeria brought into the game, as the tightly contested first-half saw the Aussies take a 3-point lead into the main break.
During the third term Australia began to break away, as the Boomers took a six-point lead into the final quarter.
However, the elite defence that Boomer’s coach Brian Goorjian implemented stumped Nigeria’s offence in the final term. The Aussies exploded with a scoring onslaught that produced a 26-15 fourth-quarter run to propel them to a 84-67 victory.
5️⃣ from Mills
2️⃣ from Dellavedova
2️⃣ from Ingles
1️⃣ from Thybulle
1️⃣ from Exum
All the Boomers' 11 threes from tonight 👌@wisraustralia | #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/DBYUwnt1Z6
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) July 25, 2021
Patty Mills starred for the Boomer’s with 25 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, with Dante Exum and Joe Ingles both chipping in with a handy 11 points each.
While this game had its fair share of red flags for the Aussies, it pails in comparison to the underperforming Team USA.
The US lost their opening game to France 83-76, snapping a 25 game Olympic winning streak. The loss was the USA’s first in 17 years, since losing to Argentina in the semi-finals during the 2004 Athens Games.
Some of the NBA’s biggest stars couldn't buy a bucket during the contest as Kevin Durant (10 points), Damien Lillard (11 points), Devin Booker (4 points), Jason Tatum (9 points) all shot poorly. Even Jrue Holliday, their leading scorer, was 5-13 shooting for 18 points.
Evan Fournier “spitting” all over the USA Basketball team….#Fournier pic.twitter.com/kK8OhZ5czb
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) July 25, 2021
This latest set-back means securing a fourth consecutive gold medal will require perfection from here-on-out.
With the Basketball giants throne seemingly ready for the taking, the Boomers - who have never won an Olympic medal- seem positioned to challenge for gold if they can maintain their signature defence and clean up their turnover count in the coming games.
The Boomers are set to take on Italy - who were also victorious in their opener- this coming Wednesday in what should make for an intriguing clash.