Former Ballarat Miners player Nathan Sobey and inaugural coach Brian Goorjian have made a successful start to their Olympic campaigns as the Boomers beat Nigeria by 17 points.
It was not a pretty game and for both sides was quite clunky offensively for majority of the game but the Boomers put on a fourth quarter show to win 84-67.
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Sobey made his Olympics debut in the win, Goorjian featuring in his third Games as Boomers head coach.
Patty Mills was the star of the game, finishing with 25 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals.
He was assisted strongly by Joe Ingles and Dante Exum who finished with 11 points each and Nick Kay with 12 points.
Australia seemed to hold the edge for the majority of the game but Nigeria remained in the hunt, pulling the deficit back in the latter stages of each of the first three quarters.
A tied game at quarter-time became just a three-point lead for the Boomers at half-time and six at the final break.
Despite each side committing over 20 turnovers, the one aspect of the game Australia could bank on for the four quarters was its defence, smothering Nigeria at different stages, causing turnovers which helped it to 26 points on the other end.
Matisse Thybulle led the way in this area, his long reach impacting countless Nigerian passes and helping Australia get quick outlet baskets.
That, along with some smoother looking offence leading to open shots, helped the Boomers to a 26-15 advantage in the final quarter, extending the margin into double digits where it would stay for the remainder of the term.
Despite some clunky-looking play offensively, it was an important win to grit out for the Boomers, who now lead Group B on points difference after Italy's 10-point win over Germany.
The Boomers play Italy next, on Wednesday from 6:20pm AEST.
Cayla George, Tessa Lavey and the Opals open their campaign on Tuesday against Belgium, tip-off scheduled for 6:20pm AEST.
Australia: 23, 20, 15, 26 (84)
Nigeria: 23, 17, 12, 15 (67)
Leading scorers, Australia; P. Mills 25, N. Kay 12, J. Ingles 11, D. Exum 11, M. Dellavedova 8
Nigeria; O. Emegano 12, J. Okogie 11, J. Nwora 10, P. Achiuwa 10
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