Kelly Defina

Joe Ingles & the Boomers stun Team USA in historic win

by Angie Treasure

Facing each other for the second time in the span of a week, the Australian National Team made history by winning their first-ever game against Team USA on Saturday, 98-94.

Despite his previous shooting woes during exhibition play, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles was responsible for 15 points in the historic win, shooting 6-12 from the field. Ingles' sole made 3-pointer of the game was a go-ahead bucket with 3:32 to play, putting the Boomers ahead for good.

It was the first time since 2006 Team USA has lost an exhibition game on the world stage.

“We really showed the direction we want to play and how we want to play," Ingles said postgame in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. “You keep building … we’ll enjoy it tonight but obviously, back to work tomorrow.”

Joe led both clubs with seven assists during his 32 minutes of play.

The Boomers handed Team USA only their second exhibition loss in club history, thanks to 30 points from San Antonio Spurs guard, Patty Mills. The Aussies scored on five straight trips down the floor down the stretch to clinch the 4-point win after losing 102-86 in the previous matchup.

“It’s not really about them, obviously … we enjoyed the challenge," Joe said of facing the national powerhouse. "For us, the whole time it’s been about building to get better and better.”

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell scored 12 points on 4-10 shooting and fouled out after 21:53 of play. The Americans were led in scoring by Boston point guard Kemba Walker who came off the bench to score 22.

“They wanted it more than us tonight and lesson learned for us," Walker said in a postgame interview.

“Some of it is expected with a new group that’s trying to learn about each other and learn about a system," USA coach Gregg Popovich said of the loss. "It’s not surprising, but the Aussies gave us a great lesson about where you want to be and how you want to play in this kind of competition.”

Team USA will look to bounce back when they play the Canadian National Team Monday in Australia.

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