Boomers lose semi-final to USA despite strong start, but hope remains for bronze

The Boomers have lost their Olympic semi-final match 97-78 to the USA, ending their hopes of a gold medal.

The Australians, bidding for their first appearance in an Olympic final, made a stunning start in the first half and burst out to an early lead.

Midway through the second quarter, the Boomers led 41-26, mostly on the back of stifling defence.

But the tide quickly turned as the US’s Kevin Durant began to take over the game on offence and the entire team’s defensive work rate improved.

By half-time, Australia’s lead had been cut to three. The US never looked back from there.

A scintillating third-quarter performance from the US blew the Australians out of the water, running up 32 points to the Boomers’ 10 to effectively end the game.

The US improved their defence in the second half and Australia could not find a way through.(

Getty Images: Charlie Neibergall


The Aussies fought until the end to ensure the margin didn’t blow out any further, but they could not avoid a 19-point loss.

Patty Mills led the scoring for Australia with 15 points, but while Dante Exum started strongly to finish with 14 points there was not enough support from elsewhere.

Joe Ingles started Australia’s scoring with two three-pointers but didn’t make another shot from range for the rest of the match.

For the US, Durant finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, Devin Booker scored 20 points and Jrue Holiday racked up eight assists to go with eight rebounds and 11 points.

The second semi-final between France and Slovenia will be played tonight. The US will play the winner for gold, while the Boomers will face the loser for a bronze medal.

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