Boomers boilover as Australia hand Team USA first exhibition loss since '06

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

An incredible display down the stretch from Patty Mills helped the Boomers defeat Team USA on Saturday afternoon, 98-94.

A record crowd of 52,000 watched Australia hand their American rivals just their second exhibition loss in the professional era, and their first since they were toppled by Greece in 2006.

The Boomers held a narrow lead at half-time, as they had in the first game, but there would be no repeat of Kemba Walker’s second half scoring explosion which guided Team USA to a game one victory.

Instead it was Mills who took over in the second half, hitting a number of crucial shots down the stretch, including a banked in triple that had the capacity crowd on their feet.

Up against his San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovic, Mills’ quickness on cuts and shooting proved troublesome for Team USA, who tried multiple defenders on the speedy guard.

Patty Mills shoots a three pointer during game two of the International Basketball series between the Australian Boomers and United States of America at Marvel Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The 2014 NBA champion finished with a game-high 30 points.

Andrew Bogut also enjoyed an excellent game, pacing the Boomers’ offence with his passing skills at the top of the key.

The Sydney Kings centre finished with 16 points.

The Boomers’ history as teammates was evident with crisp and ambitious ball movement, which largely contrasted with Team USA’s reliance on individual scoring.

While he wasn’t the game-changer he was in the first match, Walker was Team USA’s most potent scoring threat throughout the match.

The Boston Celtics point guard finished with 22 points, while Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes added 20.

After trailing by one point at halftime, the Boomers led 78-76 heading into the final quarter to put the record crowd of 52,079 on the edge of their seats.

The Australians still had the lead 91-87 with less than three minutes left on the clock and stifled the depleted Americans attempts to rally.

The United States were missing many of their NBA superstars, who opted to skip the World Cup.