Two days after leading the Australian team at the opening ceremony, Patty Mills has led the Boomers to a hard-fought win over Nigeria to begin their quest for a maiden Olympic medal.
Mills poured in 25 points and added six assists, while also delivering at the defensive end with four steals in a fine all-round performance to pace the Aussies’ 84-67 win.
The Boomers led by just three at the half and struggled to find the basket in the third term, but some hard-nosed defence – led by Philadelphia 76ers stopper Matisse Thybulle – kept Nigeria at bay.
Fellow NBA players Dante Exum and Joe Ingles also contributed with 11 points each, as did former Perth Wildcat Nick Kay, who did some typical grunt work and added 10 points in his 26 minutes on court.
The Boomers next face Italy on Wednesday.