MELBOURNE: Australia ended the United States’ 78-game winning streak in basketball competitions and exhibitions, claiming a shock 98-94 win in a World Cup warmup in Melbourne on Saturday.
In front of a record crowd at Docklands stadium, the ‘Boomers’ inflicted the Americans’ first loss in 13 years, while claiming Australia’s first ever win over the Americans after 26 attempts dating back to 1964.
Guard Patty Mills scored a game-high 30 points for Australia, with big centre Andrew Bogut also dominant with 16 points.
Although many of the United States’ top NBA stars have skipped the series and the FIBA World Cup in China, Australia’s win thrilled the 52,079 fans – a record crowd for the sport at the stadium.
The result was also a boost for organisers, who were under fire on Friday after hundreds of fans complained about seating arrangements during the opener the night before.
Australia finished fourth at the Rio Olympics and with a roster laden with NBA talents, will head to the FIBA World Cup with confidence.
The Boomers bid for their first World Cup medal in China, where they face Canada, Senegal and Lithuania.
The U.S. face Canada in a third World Cup warmup in Sydney on Monday.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)