Spurs guard Patty Mills continued to shoot the ball well as he led all scorers with 26 points as Australia defeated Serbia 95-80 Monday afternoon to move to 2-0 in Olympic basketball group play.
Mills has been the catalyst for the Boomers as they sit atop of Group A in the tournament, ahead of Team USA. Mills as he has been for San Antonio is Australia’s spark plug. Alongside Milwaukee Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova, Australia has the best guard tandem from any other team outside of the United States.
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Dellavedova finished with 23 points and a game-high 13 assists for the Boomers. Former Spurs center Aron Baynes finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Mills comments before the start of the Olympics seems to have lit a fire under the Boomers as they have quickly jumped on top and are seemingly a team on the rise in Rio. Australia easily dispatched Tony Parker and France by 21 in their opening game.
Against Serbia-ranked No. 6 in the world by FIBA-Australia’s win speaks to this team’s ability to compete when they are down and pushed against the wall.
Australia fought back and knotted the game at 52-52 behind gusty play from the team. The Boomers would take the lead for good, but not until early in the fourth quarter. Needing a spark, Australia went to Mills who used his speed to drive past defenders. He entered the lane and scored with a lay-up for a 68-67 advantage.
Mills logged 32 minutes against Serbia. Though their are just 40 minutes in the Olympics, compared to 48 in the NBA, Mills never seemed to get tired down the stretch. Credit the Spurs coaching staff for his stamina.
That is how Mills plays. With Australia, he is their starting point guard and they use him differently than when he is with San Antonio. The offense, it goes through he and Dellavedova. Does he seemed more relaxed when with the Boomers? Maybe.
Over the last two games Mills has played lights out for the Boomers. He is averaging 23.5 points, 15-of-32 from the floor (6-of-18 3-PT), 2.5 assists, 1 steal and 2 turnovers per game.
Over the last two games, Australia looks to be in top form. There are areas that need improvement, that being turnovers. Mills who had four turnovers of his own needs to be sure that his team takes care of the ball as they prepare for their big test on Wednesday against Team USA.
If there is one team that you do not want to turn the ball over to give them chances in scoring in transition, it is the USA. A big test indeed for the Boomers as they face a USA team that opened up their Olympics completely annihilating China by 57 points.