Australia upset the USA Basketball Men’s National Team on Saturday in Melbourne, coming away with a 98-94 victory in the second of two exhibitions between the two teams in preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China.
The United States had won on Thursday, 102-86.
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills scored 30 points — including the final 10 for Australia — to lead the Boomers to their first-ever victory over the USA. The loss was the first for the United States in international competition since the semifinals of the 2006 world championships, snapping a 78-game win streak.
The United States held an 87-85 lead before Joe Ingles’ 3-pointer put Australia in front with 3:36 remaining. Mills banked in a three 35 seconds later to extend the lead, then scored on each of Australia’s subsequent three possessions.
Donovan Mitchell’s 3-pointer trimmed the United States’ deficit to 97-94 with 1:08 to play, but the Americans didn’t score the rest of the way. The Australians celebrated the win with 52,079 partisan spectators at Marvel Stadium, a venue typically used for Australian rules football.
“The Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we have to be and how we have to play in this kind of competition,” USA Basketball head coach Gregg Popovich said. “So, we’ll get used to that and hopefully learn.”
Pacers center Myles Turner finished with four points on 1-of-3 shooting, two blocks, one rebound, one assist, and one steal in 17:45 for the United States.
PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner at USA Basketball Training in Australia »
Coming off a 15-point, 14-rebound performance in Thursday’s victory, Turner started at center for the second straight game. He was joined in the lineup by Mitchell, Marcus Smart, Khris Middleton, and Harrison Barnes.
Turner played the first half of the first quarter, missing his only shot attempt. He returned for a 3:23 stretch in the second quarter, but did not tally any stats over that stretch.
The United States led 49-48 at halftime and Turner helped extend that advantage in the third quarter, scoring the first four points of the frame for his only points of the night. He drew a foul on Aron Baynes and hit both free throws at the 9:32 mark, then nailed a turnaround jumper on the next trip down the floor.
He bookended those points with a pair of blocks, rejecting Jock Landale at the 9:43 mark and swatting Ingles’ shot at 8:52.
Turner subbed out at the 5:11 mark in the third quarter with the United States leading by seven. When he returned with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter, they were down by one, though they immediately retook the lead on a pair of Kemba Walker free throws.
Turner was called for an offensive foul with 4:18 remaining, then subbed out of the game for the last time at the 3:26 mark, shortly after Ingles’ go-ahead 3-pointer.
Walker led the United States with 22 points off the bench, four rebounds, and two assists. Barnes added 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting (3-of-5 from 3-point range) and six boards, while Mitchell was the only other player to reach double figures with 12 points.
Mills finished with 30 points and three assists, going 10-for-22 from the field and 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. Andrew Bogut tallied 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, nine rebounds, and four assists off the bench, while Ingles added 15 points, four rebounds, and seven assists.
The United States will now travel to Sydney, where they will take on Canada in their final exhibition on Monday. That game will take place at 5:30 AM ET and air on both NBA TV and Twitch.
The USA opens the World Cup on Sept. 1 in Shanghai against the Czech Republic.