Patty Mills scores 23 points against Lithuania to help Boomers to their first 3-0 start in FIBA World Cup history
San Antonio Spurs veteran point guard Patty Mills led the way for his national team of Australia, as the Boomers secured a huge 87-82 victory against Lithuania in the opening stage of the FIBA World Cup.
Mills caught fire in this one, logging a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, along with three 3-pointers, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 35 minutes of play. He hit the dagger 3-pointer in the final minute:
Patrick. Sammy. Mills.
Definition of clutch! 😲😵
— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 5, 2019
Phoenix Suns big man Aron Baynes also came up big, notching a monster 21-point, 13-rebound double-double.
This makes it three out of three for Australia in the first group stage, marking their first 3-0 start in the history of the FIBA World Cup.
Australia will now progress to the second group phase along with Lithuania, who finished second in Group H with a 2-1 record. Both teams will now be part of Group L, and they will be grouped with France and the Dominican Republic. The top two teams from Group L will then proceed to the quarterfinals.
Patty Mills and company still have a long road ahead of them, but this was indeed a very promising start for the Boomers. The next stage will be tougher, but Australia is expected to carry their momentum to the next phase. At this point, many consider them a strong contender to make it through to the tournament’s quarterfinals.
Australia’s next game is scheduled for Saturday, as they face off against an underdog Dominican Republic side.