Maryborough's Matthew Dellavedova and the Australian Boomers made a successful start to their Olympic basketball campaign in Tokyo on Sunday night.
The Boomers were rusty, but they produced a strong final term to defeat Nigeria 84-67 in their opening pool B encounter.
Point guard Dellavedova hit two three-point bombs on his way to eight points, three rebounds and two assists, while he also made some big plays at the defensive end of the court.
Patty Mills was the star of the show for the Boomers, scoring a game-high 25 points to go with six assists and four rebounds.
Nic Kay (12), Joe Ingles (11) and Dante Exum (11) were the other Boomers' to score in double figures.
Matisse Thybulle's Olympic debut was impressive. The Philadelphia 767ers forward had seven points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists.
The lead changed seven times in a sloppy opening half as both teams struggled to find their rhythm.
The teams combined for 25 turnovers alone in the first half and the Boomers went to the main break with a slender three-point advantage.
Mills and Dellavedova nailed three-pointers to open the third term to extend that lead to nine points and the margin grew to 11 midway through the quarter.
Just when it looked like the Boomers might blow the game open they lost their way offensively.
Nigeria held the Boomers to just five more points in the final five minutes of the quarter and cut the deficit to six at the final change.
The match-defining period of play came two-and-a-half minutes into the final term.
A Kay three-pointer gave the Boomers an eight-point lead before Dellavedova grabbed a defensive board off a Nigeria miss and was clumsily fouled by Chimezie Metu.
The foul was adjudged to be unsportsmanlike, resulting in the Boomers receiving two foul shots and possession of the ball.
Metu didn't like the call and was given a technical foul for arguing with the referee.
Metu was ejected from the game, Dellavedova and Mills made three free throws and all of a sudden the Boomers led by 11 points.
When Mills made a three-pointer a short time later, the Boomers were on a 9-0 run and the lead was 14.
Nigeria wouldn't get any closer than 12 for the remainder of the match and the Boomers eased to a 17-point win.
Defensively, the Boomers conceded just 25 points in the second half.
Australia's next game is against Italy on Wednesday night (AEST).
The Italians opened their account on Sunday with a come-from-behind win over Germany.
The top two teams in pool B automatically qualify for the quarter-finals, while the third-placed team could also advance depending on results in the other two pools.
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