After a lacklustre performance against Canada on Friday, the Australian Boomers bounced back with an impressive 81-73 win at RAC Arena in Perth.
Jonah Bolden was the star of the show, coming off the bench with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, swinging momentum Australia's way in the third quarter with multiple game-changing plays.
MORE OF THIS PLS, BOOMERS.#GoBoomers 📺 @SBSVICELAND | https://t.co/oZ5mgvnPWJ pic.twitter.com/DWpGzT5mMV- NBL (@NBL) August 17, 2019
Fellow big man Jock Landale followed up his impressive performance on Friday with another solid outing, recording 13 points and nine rebounds on the night.
Khem Birch led the way for Canada with 18 points, while Oshae Brissett added 14 points.
Australia opened the game with a much-improved defensive intensity, forcing 16 Canadian turnovers for the game, led by Matthew Dellavedova and Joe Ingles, who applied plenty of pressure on the perimeter.
Landale was in the thick of the action early, scoring eight of Australia's first 10 points, getting to his spots in the paint and finishing well at the rim.
JOE with the set 🆙 JOCK with the get 🆙💥#GoBoomers 📺 @SBSVICELAND | https://t.co/oZ5mgvnPWJ pic.twitter.com/fMcVCJUMHA- NBL (@NBL) August 17, 2019
Canada responded with some well-executed offence, connecting on 6-of-14 three-pointers in the first half, while the Boomers managed just 3-of-13 from deep, going into the break down 33-30.
From there, the Boomers seized momentum, scoring 30 points in the third quarter on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 from three, thanks largely to the play of Bolden, who found Dellavedova and Chris Goulding for a pair of three-pointers, knocking down two of his own as Australia took a 60-59 lead into the fourth.
Bolden caused the Canadians plenty of problems with his athleticism and decision-making, earning the praise of head coach Andrej Lemanis.
"Obviously, he had a nice impact on the game tonight," Lemanis said of Bolden.
"I'm pleased tonight that Jonah started to find a little bit how he might be able to manipulate the offence, and help us and get some looks for himself, but also for others. Obviously his ability to help us defensively, protect the rim, be a presence on middle pick-and-roll situations, and rebound is all the stuff we saw in camp."
Khem Birch scored six points in quick succession in the fourth quarter to pull Canada to within three points, before buckets from Nick Kay and Goulding stretched Australia's lead to nine points with 2:42 remaining to seal the win.
The Boomers finished the game, shooting 12-of-31 from the three-point line, doing so without the services of sharp-shooter Patty Mills, who was rested alongside Andrew Bogut.
Canadian guard Kevin Pangos was also rested for the game.
The Boomers will now head to Melbourne to prepare for two games against Team USA, while the Canadians will travel to Sydney for two games against New Zealand.