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Patty Mills scores 23 points against Lithuania to help Boomers to their first 3-0 start in FIBA World Cup history

Patty Mills

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:

Phoenix Suns big man Aron Baynes also came up big, notching a monster 21-point, 13-rebound double-double.

The Aussies did well to contain Lithuania’s towering frontcourt duo of Jonas Valanciunas (seven points, seven rebounds) and Domantas Sabonis (12 points, four rebounds).

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.