Boomers claim nail-biting win over France
The Australian Boomers have endured a rollercoaster final minute to claim the first win of their pre-Olympic tour, the major scalp of France 69-67 in Strasbourg this morning.
It came down to the final possession of the game with Tony Parker missing a three-pointer to win the game, after the Boomers led by as many as 16 late in the third period.
Holding a 13-point lead heading into the final quarter the hosts came out hard and on the back of strong defensive play drew level with 1:04 on the clock.
However a great Matthew Dellavedova feed to Aron Baynes (11 points, 10 rebounds) gave the visitors the lead with only seconds remaining.
France regained possession with 15 seconds on the clock, with Parker launching a three to win it, but rimmed out, giving the Boomers a well-deserved win.
Australian head coach Brett Brown said the win over France behind enemy lines was the perfect tonic heading into the Olympic Village this week.
“It was a rewarding win. It was special being able to end all of the preparation with a win against a medal calibre team,” Brown said
“We didn’t feel we brought that area of our style (defensive pressure) to the Brazil game and as a group we took a lot of pride trying to play the type of defence that we’ve predicated the program on.
“To the boys credit they came out and did a great job defensively.”
Coach Brown saw Olympic rookie Matthew Dellavedova’s job on Parker, keeping the NBA All Star to just six points, as one of the shining lights of the win.
“Matty was very good. We started him alongside Patty (Mills) and he played big, important minutes,” Brown said.
“His contribution is part of the result, he was just very good on Tony Parker defensively and I thought he did a good job of controlling the tempo of the game during the crucial end of game moments.”
Joe Ingles was again impressive, finishing with 16 points and five assists, while Patty Mills (13 points), Aron Baynes (11 points and 10 rebounds) and David Andersen (10 points) contributed to the classic Boomers offensive spread.
Mills was again the architect early, scoring seven of the first 12 Australian points to have the visitors in the lead. The second unit, inspired by Brad Newley, continued to deny the home team.
Two offensive rebounds and two assists late in the quarter ensured the Boomers led at the first break 20-16.
The great start was carried into the second period by the impressive Joe Ingles who looked capable of ripping the game open, scoring seven points and dishing off three assists for the quarter.
This accompanied by some of the trademark defensive pressure the Boomers are renowned for and the lead was quickly out to double digits by the half.
This didn’t stop in the third period as the already dominant Boomers defensive pressure went to another level, taking the lead to 16 points midway through the quarter.
A buzzer-beating three-pointer from Nando De Colo of France cut the lead to 13 points heading into the final period, but the visitors looked in control.
France came out with purpose and quickly erased the Boomer lead only for some timely final minutes heroics, highlighted by Baynes (taking a massive charge on Nicholas Batum) saw Australia head to London with that winning feeling.