He carried the flag for Australia at the opening ceremony in Tokyo and Patty Mills has made history by helping deliver the Boomers their first ever Olympic Games medal with a performance for the ages in a big win over Slovenia for the bronze medal.
Mills was simply a man possessed at Tokyo’s Saitama Super Stadium on Saturday night to close the basketball tournament at the Olympic Games. At his fourth Olympics, he was not going to let Australia remain medalless in men’s basketball.
The newly-signed Brooklyn Nets guard was at his unstoppable best cementing his legacy as one of the greatest to ever pull on the green and gold singlet. He produced 42 points and nine assists on shooting 15/31 from the field and 8/10 from the foul line as Australia beat Slovenia 107-93.
Winning a bronze medal at the Olympics is something generations of men’s basketballers from Australia have been desperately searching for, and now it is a reality and everybody involved in this team deserves to be enormously proud.
It has been built towards ever since the heartbreak in Rio way back in 2016 now, there was more agony at the World Cup in 2019 with the loss in the bronze medal playoff to France, but the reality is now Australian men have won a medal at the Olympic Games.
While heartbroken to not be able to keep a hot start going on Thursday in the semi-final against the USA to miss out on playing for gold, the Boomers shook off that pain and refocused to deliver a tremendous performance against Slovenia to win bronze in Tokyo.
That doesn’t mean it was easy. After Australia opened up a 14-point lead to start the fourth term, Slovenia stormed back and were within three with six minutes to go when Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic scored.
However, Mills hit a pair of free-throws, Dante Exum hit five quick points and then Joe Ingles drained a huge three in his fourth attempt at the Olympics and the Boomers wouldn’t be denied.
It was only fitting that Philadelphia 76ers defensive maestro threw down another slam to seal the deal as the Boomers by 14 points to claim bronze in style.
On top of the amazing 42 points from Patty Mills, Joe Ingles put up 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the two great mates share in the historic moment together.
Jock Landale is ready to take the NBA by storm with the reigning NBL Grand Final MVP delivering another 14 points with Dante Exum adding 12 points, Matisse Thybulle 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, Chris Goulding six points on two threes, and Nick Kay six points, five boards and four steals.
For Slovenia at their first every Olympic Games, Luka Doncic put up 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists with Kiemen Prepelic adding 18 points, Mike Tobey 13 and Jaka Blazic 12.
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
BRONZE MEDAL GAME
AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS 107 (Mills 42, Ingles 16, Landale 14)
SLOVENIA 93 (Doncic 22, Prepelic 18, Tobey 13)