Report Courtesy of Basketball Australia
LONDON -- A stunning second half performance and a tournament-best 39-point outburst by former Saint Mary's guard Patrick Mills boosted the Australian National Team past host Great Britain by a score of 106-75, securing a quarterfinal berth for the Boomers at the London Olympic Games.
Mills scored a game-high 39 points as well as adding five rebounds to fire the Boomers up and lead them back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter.
David Andersen added 13 points and five rebounds, while Joe Ingles had 11 points. Eleven of the Boomers 12-man roster scored in the win.
Luol Deng, an NBA star with the Chicago Bulls, was kept to just nine points by the Boomers defence.
The Boomers outscored the Brits by a whopping 70 points to 29 in the second half in a miraculous comeback.
Australia started the match slowly as the Brits delighted the home crowd by roaring to a 6-0 lead. Andersen scored the first basket for the Aussies shortly after but a pair of triples from Great Britain late in the period saw the home team leading the Boomers 25-18 after one.
The Brits continued to look dangerous in the second quarter and established a double-digit lead. At the half, Great Britain held a 46-36 edge and looked to be in a position to pull off a stunning upset.
The likelihood of a British victory seemed even higher when they established a 15-point buffer with just under two minutes played in the third period.
With a Quarter Finals berth on the line however the Boomers refused to lose. Renewed defensive intensity and some hot shooting from Mills and his backcourt partner Matthew Dellavedova sparked an Australian surge that saw the Boomers tie the game up midway through the third period, 53-53.
A third triple from Dellavedova gave the Boomers their first lead of the game with just under five minutes to play, 56-55.
There would be no stopping the Australians from there as the Boomers outscored the Brits, 30-14 in the third to lead 66-60.
Whilst the game seemed still in reach for the British given they trailed by just two baskets at the final break, the Boomers opened the fourth quarter on an incredible 18-0 run to establish an unbeatable lead. By the final buzzer, the Australians had recorded a remarkable 31-point victory.
Australia now has a day off to prepare for their final Group B game against Russia, who upset world number two Spain earlier in the day. A win against the Russians would help the Boomers avoid a Quarter Final crossover against likely Group A leaders the USA.