Patty Mills has certainly turned on the inspired play for the Australian Boomers at an optimal time of the Olympic Basketball tournament. After pouring in 39 points against host nation Great Britain, Mills hit a buzzer-beating three point shot to give Australia a two point victory over previously undefeated Russia.
After two losses to Spain and Brazil to start the tournament, the Boomers convincingly took down China to stem the bleeding. Entering the game against Team GB, they needed victory to ensure their presence in the medal knockout rounds, however things did not start out well. The Boomers were down by 15 points in the third quarter, before turning things around to surprisingly finish with a 31 point victory.
Mills put up 39 points on 5/7 three point shooting and 64% from the field to lead the Boomers. That points total represented the highest by any player in the tournament during the 2012 Games and capped a 70-29 second half by Australia.
Coming into the Russia game, Australia had already ensured a crossover match with the might of Team USA, but were looking to ensure momentum. And no better momentum could be guaranteed than the thrill of a last second three by Mills to pull Australia through to a 3-2 record with a win over Russia.
As you can see from the above shaky video footage, Mills received a perfect pass at the top of the key and drilled the three to put the Boomers ahead by two as time expired. Brett Brown drew the play up impeccably and plenty of credit must go to Matthew Dellavedova for a solid screen to get Mills open.
(I had uploaded the final minute of the game to YouTube, but a little thing called Copyright restrictions meant that I had to delete that.)
Next up for Australia is Team USA on Wednesday. The Aussies will be hoping to use their quickness and the physical toughness of their experienced bigs to keep the USA in check for at least three quarters. If they can stay in touch until the fourth quarter, anything can happen. Of course, no one is expecting the game to be remotely close, which gives Australia the ‘nothing-to-lose’ mentality that can cause upsets.
Things have been a little quiet lately here at A Stern Warning with the Olympics in full swing. You may wonder why… well, I’ve been writing over at the Olympic Basketball Blog for the duration of the London Games. Check it out, as there is some really good coverage of the Games coming from a range of writers, covering things from multiple angles with numerous articles per day.