The Australian Boomers continue their unbeaten run in the exhibition series in las Vegas, cruising to a 108-69 win over the previously unbeaten Nigeria.
Missing veterans Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes, who were rested for the game, the Aussies depth was on show as Chris Goulding (21 points), Duop Reath (17), Nathan Sobey (15), Josh Giddey (14), and Jock Landale (14) led them to victory.
Let's jump into the key takeaways at the buzzer:
Josh Giddey makes a statement
Giddey isn't in the Boomers' final 12-man squad for the Tokyo Olympics, but the 18-year-old certainly made a case that he should be with an impressive performance against Nigeria.
In a performance that would have no doubt caught the eye of NBA scouts and General Managers, the projected lottery pick looked more than comfortable on the international stage, recording 14 points, four rebounds and three assists, going 2-of-5 from beyond the arc in 25 minutes.
☔️☔️☔️- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) July 14, 2021
🇦🇺 @joshgiddey letting it FLY!
LIVE BLOG: https://t.co/qIKseUyIvw pic.twitter.com/wpM8okityc
Chris Goulding can't miss
The Vegas rim must have looked 10 feet wide as Goulding made it rain from beyond the arc.
The veteran sharp-shooter was on fire going a perfect 7-of-7 from the 3-point line for his 21 points. He didn't attempt a single two-point shot!
The Chris Goulding Show 📺- The NBL (@NBL) July 14, 2021
One of our favourite programs on TV, tbh.@ChrisGoulding43 @BasketballAus @ESPNAusNZ pic.twitter.com/n4sh3IA7lm
Defence, defence, defence
While the Aussies were firing on all cylinders on offence, the big win for coach Brian Goorjian is the defensive effort put forth against Nigeria.
Despite leading in double figures for most of the game, the Boomers never let up, pressing and hustling all the way to the final buzzer. Led by Josh Green, who had three of the team's 10 steals, the Aussies hounded Nigeria on the perimeter, playing the passing lanes and turning defence into offence in a hurry.
Green capped his performance with this coast-to-coast jam down the stretch. He added with 11 points on 5-of-6 from the field.
😤 😤 😤- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) July 14, 2021
🇦🇺 @JoshBGreen punches it home! pic.twitter.com/9732vU6Uro
After Nigeria scored 90 points against Team USA and 94 against Argentina, the Aussies held them to just 69 points and contained them from the 3-point line - 25.8 percent (8-of-31).
"We were locked in defensively from the jump," Goulding said post-game. "We'd seen how they played their last two games; they're a potent offensive team, a lot of athleticism, they can really shoot the ball. So, we had to be keyed in on that.
The Australian Boomers are back in action on Saturday morning against Team USA, from 8:00 a.m. AEST on ESPN.
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