By Chris Dutton
LONDON -- A Patrick Mills buzzer-beater will send the Australian Boomers into the Olympic Games quarter-finals oozing with confidence after they toppled Russia early this morning.
Mills nailed a three-pointer with no time left on the clock to lift the Boomers to an 82-80 win over Russia during the final match of the preliminary rounds of Group B.
Saint Mary's rising senior guard Matthew Dellavedova added 10 point and seven assists.
Trailing by one point with four seconds left, Joe Ingles dished off a pass to Mills who delivered under pressure. The Boomers are now preparing for a nightmare quarter final against the best team in the world - the United States.
But after beating the previously undefeated Russia, overcoming a team of superstars and millionaires suddenly seems possible.
Mills' clutch play came two days after he scored a tournament-high 39 points against Great Britain. While he had a quiet game against Russia, he stood tall when he was needed most.
''It's one of those shots that you always dream of making and when you do it against a team like Russia who have been great, it's good for the confidence and the rhythm going into the next game,'' Mills said.
''We've got to [believe we can beat the US], this is what the Olympic Games is all about - playing against the best.
''They're the best and what better way to go into the quarter-final than with the belief we have.''
The Boomers finished fourth in their pool and will play the top-ranked team from the opposite side of the draw - the LeBron James and Kobe Bryant-led Team USA.
Australia lost to the US in the quarter-finals at the Beijing Games. But Mills, the only NBA player in the Boomers squad, said ''there's a different vibe and a different feeling'' and that an upset was possible.
''I'm excited, this is why you play at the Olympics, this is what it's about,'' Mills said. ''We're going up against the best and this is a great opportunity, this is what you live for and work for."