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Australia’s Boomers outscored Nigeria’s Tigers 84-67 in a commanding performance on Sunday in Tokyo with star player Patty Mills scoring 25 points as both nations opened their quest for a first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.

Australia matched its best finish by finishing fourth at the Rio Games in 2016 but is capable of going further this time with a veteran roster full of NBA players.

Australia's Nic Kay (15) shoots past Nigeria's Precious Achiuwa (55) during a men's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics

The Australians, ranked third in the world, pulled away in the fourth quarter of a game that had been evenly matched between teams with the most NBA players outside of the U.S.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers featured eight current NBA players and the Australians seven. Both teams won exhibition games in Las Vegas against the Americans, who have 12 NBA players on their roster.

Australia's Jock Landale passes ahead of Nigeria's Jahlil Okafor, left, during a men's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday

Australia opened an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter after holding the Nigerians without a basket for more than five minutes to open the second half.

But the Australians lost momentum soon after when the game was delayed because the horn was malfunctioning, and Nigeria cut the deficit to five early in the fourth.

Nigeria's Caleb Agada (3) blocks a shot by Australia's Joe Ingles during a men's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday

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But Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers made a 3-pointer and then Mills, the San Antonio Spurs guard who was a flag bearer for the Australians in the opening ceremony, helped break it open.

Obi Emegano scored 12 points for Nigeria, led by Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown.

Australia plays Italy on Tuesday in matchup of teams that won in Group B on the opening day. Nigeria faces Germany.

The post Tokyo 2020: Australia outscore Nigeria’s D’Tigers in basketball opener appeared first on Sporting Life.

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