Tokyo Olympics: Australian Boomers stay unbeaten with 89-76 win over Germany
Two-time Perth Wildcats title winner Nick Kay underlined why the Boomers still have a frontcourt to be reckoned with in the absence of the injured Aron Baynes after helping Australia maintain their unbeaten start to the Olympic tournament.
Kay made the most of his elevation to the starting line-up to score 16 points in the Boomers’ 89-76 victory over Germany in their final group match, marking the first time in Olympic history Australia’s men’s team had opened a tournament with three consecutive wins.
Fellow big man Jock Landale was also pivotal with 18 points, while Patty Mills provided a typically dominant Games performance with 24 points and six assists.
Baynes was yesterday ruled out of the remainder of Olympic play after a neck injury from a change room fall, robbing the team of their first-choice centre.
But the dominant paint play of Landale and the unassuming Kay’s efficiency helped quell fears Baynes’ absence will be a major blow to their hopes of a breakthrough medal.
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The Boomers’ win ensured they will finish atop Group B, with Brian Goorjian’s side to await the outcome of the remaining group games to determine their quarter final opponent as the tournament shifts into knockout mode.
Australia trailed by as much as seven in the early stages after a sloppy offensive opening, but some deft inside work from Landale and an impressive cameo from little-used Nathan Sobey sparked the Boomers to life.
The second term was where the Aussies made their move in a dominant 26-18 quarter. Putting their bodies on the line in typical style, Mills took a charge as Australia tightened their defence, while Matthew Dellavedova fought through a nasty cut to the eye after a swipe from an opponent.
A four-point play from Mills signalled his team’s intentions straight after the main interval. The flagbearer was not shy to let it fly from deep, connecting on five of his whopping 15 three-point attempts.
Germany remained within touching distance, but some timely buckets from former Utah Jazz teammates Joe Ingles (six points) and Dante Exum (eight) helped the Aussies stay far enough in front to close things out.
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