LAS VEGAS (AP) — These games don’t count. Right now, that is the only saving grace for USA Basketball.
And for quite probably the first time in 29 years of NBA players suiting up for the national team, they heard boos when a game ended — on home soil, no less.
Patty Mills scored 22 points and Australia held the U.S. without a field goal for the final 4:34 on the way to beating the Americans 91-83 on Monday.
"I just expect him to do it," Joe Ingles said of Mills' big finish. "It's what he's done for 12 years. It's just what he does for our group."
Ingles scored 17 points, Matisse Thybulle scored 12 and Chris Goulding had 11 for Australia.
"We walked into this game expecting to win," the longtime Utah Jazz player said.
Team USA, the three-time defending Olympic gold medalists, dropped to 0-2 in their five-game slate of exhibitions leading up to the Tokyo Games.
Nigeria shocked the U.S. on Saturday night, pulling off an international shocker with a roster primarily filled of little-known NBA players that found a way to beat a group of All-NBA, All-Star and max-contract performers. Nigeria won 90-87.