The U.S. men’s basketball team put on a show as Team USA earned a 102-86 exhibition victory against the Australian Boomers on Thursday in front of a 51,218 fans inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. It was the the largest crowd to watch a basketball game in Australia.
Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics scored 23 points and Myles Turner added 15 points and 14 rebounds in the victory. The showdown also gave fans an opportunity to see interesting matchups, including Utah Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles going against each other.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 22, 2019
The contest also gave Kemba Walker another opportunity to develop more chemistry with fellow Boston Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.
The game seemed like it was going to be a close one, as Team USA held just a 44-43 halftime lead over the Boomers. However, as the third quarter began, it became apparent that Team USA was about to run away from it thanks to a 13-0 run.
It proved to be a well-balanced game for Team USA, with six players scoring in double figures. Kemba Walker had a team-high 23 points with led the team in points, with Myles Turner and Donovan Mitchell adding 15 and 13 points respectively. Team USA had an impressive night from beyond the arc as the team shot 43% from downtown.
On what may have been the highlight of the night, Jayson Tatum lead a quick fastbreak before pulling up and throwing a perfect alley-oop to Jaylen Brown.
— NBA (@NBA) August 22, 2019
The Boomers were led by a 1-2 punch in Patty Mills, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, and Chris Goulding. Australia showed tenacity, forcing 13 turnovers and scoring 18 points in transition, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the wave of scoring from Team USA. They especially struggled on the boards, getting outrebounded 54-36, and allowed 16 offensive rebounds.
It must be restated that this game was just an exhibition, which could account for some of the sloppy play on both sides. That being said, this game still has significance, as it shows both sides what needs to be improved before heading into tournament play next week.
The FIBA tournament will officially begin Saturday, August 31st.